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:
- "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. )
- "money gram" (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. )
- ",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)
- "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. )
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: (sent from abused email account)
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2011 01.04.28 +0100
Subject: Were You Scammed Or Have Information.
We have been instructed to reach you by investigatory authorities. It
is in their notice that you have a transaction ongoing now or at a
certain period in the last months in which you were scammed by sending
payments via Western Union and or Money Gram. You were notified
through a fake payment email notification.
We will advise and urge you to desist from that transaction now as it
is a fraudulent one again. You will never get any check or transfer
from them. We want you to co-operate with us and give us vital
information on the fraudsters now so we can go on their trail.
If you can do this, we will assure you that you will get a ransom
reward of $1,500,000.00USD for victims of African Advanced Fee Fraud
and Scam who can provide us with detailed information for investigation.
All person(s) should forward and email to the undersign regarding
their experiences for proper investigation of your reports, collation
and coordination of your payment.
The EFCC Council and Commonwealth of nations headquarters had commence
investigation on all matters concerning the fraudulent compensation
Note again, cease further communication with any body or person(s)
concerning lottery winning, compensation payment, contract payment
etc. Continuous transaction with these person(s) is only a waste of
time and money.
All your rewards payment through us will be made via Telegraphic
Transfer (TT) from our paying bank here in the country except
otherwise where clearly stated where our affiliated banks in Asia
(Malaysia), Europe (Netherlands) will handle same if otherwise stated.
Feel free to ask any question(s) concerning the above subject matter.
For your own safety and precautions concerning this investigation and
your rewards payment do not disclose or forward our correspondence
from this office to any person(s).
Thanks for your understanding and co-operation in this matter.
We shall advise that you get in touch with our office immediately.
Direct your reply to ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Mrs. Farida Waziri