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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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)
- "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)
- "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. )
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. John Otti" <firstname.lastname@example.org> (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2018 13:05:18 +0100
Subject: Re: Your Funds $1,200,000.00
Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation,
Mamman Kontagora House,
23A, Marina, P.M.B. 12881.
This email serves as a notification, to inform you on the deposit of compensation funds by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in the amount of 30 Million dollars, which will be shared between 25 scam victims, with each beneficiary to be paid $1,200,000USD only.
You have been enrolled into this compensation scheme because your email address was found as a victim among an email database saved in a.txt format, on a computer hard drive belonging to a con artists and fraudsters who were caught and are presently in the custody of the Economic and financial crimes commission (E.F.C.C), here in Nigeria. They will be facing prosecution at the end of the month.
It is for this reason that we believe you might have been defrauded in the past or even recently and as such, we intend paying you the stipulated amount in our bid to improve the situation all around you after these scams have been perpetuated. To enable the delivery of CHEQUE or American Express Gold Card to you, kindly send the following to Dr. John Otti of United Bank For Africa Plc head of compensation payout operations with the below information for the delivery of your $1,200,000.00 Cheque or American Express Gold Card
Contact Dr. John Otti with under listed info
BANK NAME :United Bank For Africa Plc
Head Office: UBA House, 57, Marina,P. O. Box 2406, Lagos Nigeria
Contact Person: Dr. John Otti
Conatct E-Mail: email@example.com
Full Name: .........
Contact Dr. John Otti and send him the above information today for delivery of your $1,200,000.00 Cheque or Amaechi Express Gold Card
Signed.Ambassador (Dr.) Hassan Adamu/ Peter Bluemann
Chairman, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation,