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:
- 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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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. )
- "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. )
- "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: "ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIME" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2011 14:24:18 +0100
Subject: Re: Notification of your ATM Card Delivery.
ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION
112 AVENUES, SURE ROAD LAGOS/NIGERIA.
This is to acknowledge you that I have informed the FBI and the Interpol that you have not yet received your long outstanding fund with the Nigeria Government.A meeting was held yesterday concerning this same issue with some high authorities and we came into a positive compromise.
Our final conclusion was that the fund should be paid to you via an automated teller machine card (ATM) seems this will be easier and faster for you to receive.
Donít hesitate to contact me as soon as you receive email so I can post the ATM Card to your destination with immediate effect.
Note; that the amount youíre expecting is amounted to US$10,500,000.00 and it has been approved by the IMF yesterday. I shall send all vital documents to you as soon as I receive a response from you.
Your new communication code: NG/ .CCUF -HFCR-/RLPHJ/.
I await your prompt response,
I WISH YOU HAPPY NEW YEAR
Mrs. Farida Waziri.