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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "swift card payment center" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. SAUDIN FAROOQ" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2019 16:33:22 +0100
Subject: Re:Your ATM Card Is Ready,
AUTHORIZATION TO REMIT YOUR FUND
FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE
128, JAKONDE AVENUE V/ISLAND LAGOS.
PO BOX 2704 AMERICAN HIGH COMMISSION
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN PAYMENT
Our Ref: RTG /SNT/STB
WE HERE BY NOTIFYING YOU THAT FIRST BANK PLC (NIG) HAVE BEEN MANDATED TO ISSUE OUT YOUR PAYMENT OF $5,800,000.00 USD THROUGH ATM CARD. YOU HAVE TO STOP FURTHER COMMUNICATION WITH ANY OTHER PERSON(S) OR OFFICE(S) OR MINISTRIES FOR FINANCE WITHIN AFRICAN'S TO AVOID HITCHES IN RECEIVING YOUR ATM CARD PAYMENT.
THIS MASTER ATM CARD NUMBER: 5399-2321-3939-6219 HAS BEEN ALLOCATED IN YOUR FAVOR YOUR PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION NUMBER IS 0683. FIRST BANK MANAGER HAVE CONFIRMED AUTOMATION OF YOUR SWIFT PAYMENT THROUGH AN ELECTRONIC ATM CARD PAYMENT. THE BANK HAS ARRANGED YOUR PAYMENT THROUGH SWIFT CARD PAYMENT CENTER. THE MAXIMUM DAILY WITHDRAWAL IS $5,000USD PER DAY, UNLESS YOU INSIST ON ANOTHER PAYMENT METHOD.
NOW YOU ARE ADVISING TO CONTACT THE BANK TODAY, THIS IS A SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT IN COLLABORATION WITH UNITED NATION, AMERICAN HIGH COMMISSION AND CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (CBN/FMF). KINDLY CONTACT AND RECONFIRM THE BELOW DETAILS TO THIS PERSON WHO IS IN POSITION TO RELEASE YOUR ATM MASTER CARD TO YOU. SEND THESE INFORMATION'S BELOW:
YOUR FULL NAME:.......................
CONTACT PERSON NOW THROUGH FIRSTBANK PLC EMAIL BELOW:
NAME....: MRS. CHARLOTTE .N. ORIZU.
TOLL LINE: +234 812 3842 801.
NOTE: We have mounted our security network to monitor every in-coming call, if we still find out that you are still dealing with all those fraudsters that have been frustrating our efforts and defrauding beneficiaries, we shall stop and cancel your payment immediately.
Secretary Resolution Panel on Contract/Inheritance
fund Payment Federal Ministry of finance.
CC: Honorable Minister of Finance.