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:
- "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. )
- "(ecowas)" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr Gary Williams"<email@example.com> (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2011 21:29:10 +0100
Subject: $3,500000 COMPENSATION PAYMENT
SCAMMED VICTIM/ $3.5million COMPENSATION-REF/PAYMENTS CODE: 06654.
We were delegated by the presidency Federal Republic Of Nigeria in conjunction with the Economic Community Of West African States(ECOWAS),Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC),International Monetary Fund(IMF) and the United Nations to pay 250
Americans,Asians and Europeans respectively who were scammed by Nigerian
fraudsters/perpetrators the sum of $3.5million each.You are listed as one of
the scam victims and approved for this payments.
In view of this recommendations, I want you to know that during the last
UN,IMF and ECOWAS meeting held at Accra,Ghana,it was alarmed vehemently so
much by the rest of the world in the meeting on the loss of funds by
various foreigners to the scams artists operating in syndicates all over
the world today, In other to retain the good image of this country, the
president (Goodluck Ebere Jonathan) has instructed the payment of 250
victims the sum of $3.5million each.
According to the number of applicants at hand, 85 beneficiaries has been
paid.we still have more left to be paid the compensation of $3.5million.
Your particulars was mentioned by one of the Fraudsters who was arrested in Lagos State Nigeria as one of their victims of the operations.Efcc with the support of the US Federal Bureau Investigation(FBI) is
already on trace of these criminals.
Kindly reconfirm the following below information for immediate processing
of your payment:
Your full name
Your Phone number
Note that You will receive your compensation payments
via the approved bank by the Federal Government.I shall feed you with
further modalities as soon as I hear from you.
Dr Gary Williams ,
De-facto Chief Compensation Officer,
EFCC And United Nations Compensation Committee,
(United nations Anti-fraud Committee)