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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "western union" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "million us 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)
- "fund beneficiary" (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 crime 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. )
- "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. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "UPDATE 2009" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 23 May 2009 00:05:04 -0700
Subject: ATTN:TREAT AS URGENT BENEFICIARY(REPLY IMMEDIATELY)
ATTN:TREAT AS URGENT BENEFICIARY!!!COMPENSATION PAYMENT UPDATE.
FROM THE DESK OF INVESTIGATION DEPARTMENT,INDEPENDENT CORRUPT PRACTICE COMMISSION (ICPC) IN CO-OPERATION WITH THE ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION (EFCC) MAITAMA-ABUJA,NIGERIA.
Dear fund beneficiary,
How are you? I hope you are fine. Well, I believe by the time you will be through with this email you will understand and surely place your mind at rest as you are going to start a new life in no distance time.
Most families have lost lives, homes and there great wealth due to the high rate of fraud and scams that has been all over the Nation and the world in general, but since the setup of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Independent Corrupt Practice Commission for the purpose,these crimes has been reduced and we are fighting heavily to put this to an end.
Right now, [USD900 Million] Nine Hundred Million us Dollars has been recovered from these fraudsters through our Intelligence network, and most suspects are still in on our custody for proper investigations and trials. Your name has been found in our list of those that hasbeen defrauded through some of these media, Account/Western union money transfer and others. The western union money transfer that has been sent so far to some countries like London, Ghana,Togo,Spain,South Africa and United States etc are being received here in our country bythese scammers in the name of having transaction that you dont know about.You have approved to receive the sum of $850,000.00 USD as your compensation payment for being a defrauded victim.
An instruction has been giving that on no account should any money be paid to an individual through any means without a proper investigation. We have our agents in the bank all round the World with proper security to checkmate these scammers and any bank that goes contrary to our instruction will stand the risk of losing its certificate of accreditation.If this is true about you, do not border much because it is time for you to regain what you have lost .This wonderful compensation program was introduced by the new President Alhaji Musa Yar'radua.
In view of this,we have been informed that you are still dealing with those hood-lumps in all your attempts to secure the release of your fund. We wish to advise you that such an illegal act has to stop if you wish to receive your payment since we have decided to bring a solution to your problem. Do be informed that we reserve the right at our discretion to sue you for damage on recognition of further contact with this people.
You have been approved US$850,000 (Eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand United States Dollars) as a compensation fund to compensate you for being defrauded by the fraudsters.Therefore you are required to contact the Independent Corrupt Practice Commission Office herein Nigeria for proper evaluation into your file. Do be informed that your file security code is EFCC/NG/850/ABJ09.You are to quote these file number for proper identification when contacting their office.
Contact the Head Independent Corrupt Practice Commission Office here in Nigeria for the transfer of your fund to you:
All you need to do is to contact the head of verification department with this information below for further clarification and screening after which part of this money will be sent to you through ATM VISA CARD or means which will be convenience for you as stated clearly above.
Name: Mrs.Faridah Waziri.
Direct line: +234-704-112-8116
To fight corruption to a standstill and restore Nigeria to the
enviable standard of respectability and dignity within the comity of
Mrs. Grace Anderson,
****Mrs. Faridah Waziri
(Chairman, Economic And Financial Crime Commission)
(Chairman,Independent Corrupt Practice Commission,ICPC.)
This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.This message contains confidential information and is intended only for the individual named. You are to call: +234-704-112-8116 for verifications.