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 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "economic 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. )
- "(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. )
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "(ecowas)" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "federal republic of benin" (Benin, Cameroon, etc. are no Federal Republics, unlike Nigeria where this type of scam was invented)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address looks like addresses used in "ATM SWIFT card" scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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)
- day. so you are advice to contact mrs tibor williams firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com she will proccess your (Freemail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Myown Box <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2010 06:50:41 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: RE: Scam compensation!!!
I am Mrs. Hamza Haruna the secretary to the new chairman of ECONOMIC
FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION (EFCC).
EFCC in alliance with economic community of West African states (ECOWAS)
with head Office here in Nigeria. I write to inform you that following a
meeting with the US Embassy and Federal Republic of Nigeria, Federal
Republic of Cote'dvoir and Federal Republic of Benin.The subject of
discussion is why American citizens who executed foreign
contracts/Inheritance/Lotteries are either paid part payment or not paid
at all. There are complaints by the American citizens and other
Western World that they have lost some amount of money in pursuit of their
payments and this gave rise to the US Government setting up a five man
committee to work with the US Embassy here in Lagos, Nigeria.towards the
eradication of fraudsters and scam Artists in Western part of Africa.
With the help of United States Government and the United Nations We have
been able to track down so many of this scam artist in various parts of
west African countries which includes (NIGERIA, REPUBLIC OF BENIN,TOGO,
GHANA CAMEROUN AND SENEGAL) and they are all in our custody here in Lagos
Nigeria. We have been able to recover so much money from these scam
artists. The United Nation Anti-crime commission and the United State
Government (F.B.I) have Order the money recovered from the Scammers to be
shared among 100 Lucky people around the globe. This mail is been directed
to you because your email address was found in one of the scam Artists
file and computer hard disk in our custody here in Nigeria. You are
therefore be Compensated with $2,000,000.00 (TWO MILLION
Dollars Only) Remember the scam artist always claims that they are
Barristers/Bank Officials Lottery Agents who has money for transfer or
want you to be the next of kin of such funds which do not exist.
Since your name appeared among the beneficiaries who will receive a
compensation of $2,000.000.00 we have arranged your payment through our
swift ATM card payment, Feel free to contact Ms Tibor Williams the swift
card has been specially prepare. It enable you withdraw your money in any
ATM machine in any part of the world, but the maximum is Five Thousand
Dollars Only per day. So you are advice to contact Mrs Tibor Williams
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org she will proccess your
payment without any delay, we also advise you to help us fight scammer in
the world by providing us with there informations, the method they use to
Mrs. Hamza Haruna
Sec to the Chairman EFCC