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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "economic and financial crimes commission" (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. )
- "(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. )
- "diplomatic immunity" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "a diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Sven M. Andre" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 11 May 2011 22:35:47 -0400
Subject: Re: Does it mean you are not receiving my message? last notice
FROM THE PRIVATE DESK OF:MR.SVEN MODEL OF IMF FUNDS
RECOVERY AGENCY (WE ARE AT YOUR SERVICE) CABLEGRAM:
HOTELINE PHONE= +2347033344357 or 0112347033344357
To whom it concern
RE: FUND ALERT/FINAL NOTICE.
I am Mr.Sven Andre Model. A United Nations foreign envoy to
Africa and Europe on finance. I and the chief security officer
(cso) of international monetary funds London (IMF) have arranged
to pay your overdue payment. Why we did this is because according
to information gathered from the banks computer, that you have been
awaiting for a long time to receive your outstanding payment without
Your email address was among the outstanding beneficiarys whose
fund has been pending for so long and some hoodlums or rather
scammers have been using this opportunity to get money from you.
Using the name of top personnel's and co-operate offices in Nigeria,
South Africa, Ivory Cost, Benin Republic, Spain, Germany, Nigeria,
Malaysia and London.
Now your said fund has been arranged in two security proof boxes
weighing 98kg each, that is 196kg for the two boxes. We have went
to four courier companies to make arrangements on how to ship the
two boxes by courier to you.D.h.l, E.m.s, FedEx, but all courier
companies in Nigeria wants to open the boxes for inspection before
This is something we want to avoid because the boxes were padded
with machine .We told the courier companies that the boxes contained
film materials and when open will cause damage to the materials (spoil).
We did not declare money because courier service do not carry physical
cash. I will send to you the keys to open the boxes both the outer and
inner security code lock through another courier company.This is to avoid
any inspection at any of transit airport.
A diplomat friend of mine disclosed to me that there is a courier company
that use to send diplomatic materials and information from one country to
another.The courier company have diplomatic immunity and they are not
checked by any customs anywhere in the world.
The name of the company is (Inland courier services) and i will meet them
as soon as i have your go ahead order. The diplomat will help me secure the
vital papers so we do not have any problem.To this effect, you will send to
us your private address as to where you will receive the boxes in a safe
condition. Remember the total money in the boxes are $10,500.000.00,USD.
This is the safest means.Confirm the receipt of this message immediately
by calling me on the above number.
Esq,Sven Andre Model
PRIVATE CONTACT EMAIL (email@example.com )
SUPPORT FROM INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUNDS (IMF)
THE ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION (EFCC)