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.
- 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:
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- "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. )
- "farida waziri" (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.
- 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: "OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2010 20:48:15 -0700
Subject: YOUR URGENT ATTENTION NEEDED..
OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
441 4th Street NW,
Washington, DC 20001.
We have received instruction from the Police Department ,Home land Security and the Federal Bereau of Intelligence (FBI) here in the United States of America to prosecute you over allegations of money laundering and terrorist related activities with fake/sacked Nigeria bank officials to which there is over whelming evidence of your involvement in my office now.
The need for your urgent prosecution arose from your inability to secure the mandatory Clearance Bill Certificate from the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigeria inspite of several opportunities given to you by the Police Department,Home land Security and FBI.
Inview of the indicting report submitted to the Police Department,Home land Security and FBI by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Police Department ,Home land Security and FBI has recommended for your immediate prosecution.
To avoid prosecution, You have to obtain the required Certificate from EFCC - CHAIRMAN NIGERIA, MRS. FARIDA WAZIRI ON HER OFFICIAL EMAIL ADDRESS : firstname.lastname@example.org and the Cost of the Certificate is $300.00 only
We are giving you notice of service of writ of summons after seven days of receiving this letter by mail. If after the seven days and you are not able to obtain the Certificate to clear yourself before the Police Department ,Home land Security and FBI, Legal prosecution will begin immediately.
Note a copy of this email have been forwarded to the POLICE/AUTHORITIES CONCERN and failure to comply will led to order for your immediate arrest.
Justice delayed is justice denied.
Attorney General Eric Holder