fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "atm payment department" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "million us dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "i will advice you " (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "CITIBANK GROUP USA" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 16 Sep 2019 16:58:33 -0700
Subject: CITIBANK GROUP USA
Accredited ATM CARD (CITIBANK GROUP/USA/02485/BG) awarded for contract payment of $2.5Million US Dollars with card number:3478763199030014 has been allocated in your favor through your email address, Your Personal Identification Number is 2319. Did you instruct Mr. Jerry Edwards to collect your ATM CARD worth USD $2.5million on your behalf? Get back to this office immediately you receive this message for confirmation and immediate action.
I will advice you confirm the below information's immediately and make sure you fill in the information correctly and contact the ATM PAYMENT DEPARTMENT with the below information.
COMPLETE THE FORM BELOW:
Did you instruct Mr. Jerry Edwards to collect your ATM CARD?:
*Your Full Names:
*Direct Phone Number#:
*Next of Kin:
*Relationship with next of Kin:
Note that Upon your reply and confirmation of your details your will be advice on further proceedings regarding the shipment of your ATM CARD to your mailing address.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
John C. Dugan
Chairman of Citigroup Bank USA.