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:
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "million 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)
- "(efcc)" (This name is often mentioned in money recovery scams (re-scam): the real EFCC does not contact victims to offer to get their money back because that is near impossible. )
- "farida waziri" (This name is often mentioned in money recovery scams (re-scam): the real EFCC does not contact victims to offer to get their money back because that is near impossible. )
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Farida Waziri" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2010 11:08:35 -0700
Subject: Reimbursement Approved
ECONOMICS AND FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION,
15A Awolowo Road
Ikoyi, Lagos Nigeria.
OUR REF: 10667FV
Firstly we introduce this commission, Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) we fight cyber crime, Internet fraud, scam and money laundering in Africa and London United Kingdom Our commission has been in existences since 2004 and our duty is to stop Internet fraud. We have over 7,500 of them in our jails around Africa and UK and we are still looking for these internet fraudsters, we are aware that a lot of foreigners have been deceived and huge amount of money has also been lost to this fraudsters after promising you percentages in their letters for you to help them move funds and they will end up demanding for money from you and in return you will get nothing.
The Leaders of the African Crime fighters has come together to inform the world what is going on now and we have recovered over $422 Million Dollars (Four Hundred and Twenty Two Million Dollars) from the people we have apprehended. The reason we are writing you this letter is because your name was given to us by one of the fraudsters in our detention room after serious investigation and our aim is to refund all lost fund to its legitimate owner.
We are paying back from the money we recovered and can only refund all lost fund if you show us prove of how much you lost. If you know any person, family or friend(s) that has lost money to fraudsters please tell him/her to write to this commission with proves and we will respond immediately to enable us paid back after proper verification. We are aware that these fraudsters has broken home, made people lose their job, sell their properties, closed their business, put many on the street and some even lost their life.
You are advised to reach Head of Operation EFCC through the information stated below. For further clarifications on how you are to receive your funds and you are also required to forward your full particulars and recent telephone and fax numbers to our email address below if you are a victim. In situation where by you are having any transaction here in Nigeria respond for clearance to avoid bring scam.
Note: All email respond shall be address to our official email address only.
EFCC HEAD OF OPERATION
Dr Victor Pam
Chairman EFCC Internet Fraud Unit)
Note: *****(confidential) If this email is received accidentally and you are not a victim of scam, please disregard and do not respond*****