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:
- "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. )
- "(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. )
- "offshore account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- +447024086306 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Amy Brooks" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2011 11:34:53 -0500
Subject: Order of Reconciliation Payment
Order of Reconciliation Payment,
This is in accordance with the irrevocable instruction of your payment received from the office of the Investigation department of the ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION (EFCC) today. You are being contacted by this office today because your Case File (Ai) is the very first File on our Settlement Files Cabinet forwarded and contracted us to see to your immediate compensation payment of the sum of $1,200,000.00 from their Offshore Account with us. The commission further more explained the reasons while you are been compensated. This might interest you to know that during the recent internet investigations and probing processes conducted by the EFCC and investigation monetary agency (UK), your E-MAIL address was discovered among the SPAM violated list and victim of fraud. The said payment is a reconciliation payment to every foreigner's beneficiary of funds which due to one hitch or the other, the transfer of such fund was not successful at that time.
It was alarmed so much by the rest of the world in the meetings on the lose of funds by various foreigners to the scams artists operating in syndicates all over the world today, In other for the Federal Government of Nigeria to retain the good image of their great country, the president has instructed the payment of $1,200,000.00 to victims each via DEUTSCHE BANK (UK) under the funding assistance by the Nigeria Intelligent Monetary Unit in concurrence with the Federal Ministry of finance (Federal Capital Territory) with the letter of Authorization from the office of the finance minister has given us the right to remit such funds valued at $1,200,000.00 to it beneficiary as remuneration payment among which your contact was listed and this transfer is expected to be made within the next 144 hours.
Please contact the investigation monetary agency (IMA) Department United Kingdom (Mr. Robert Doran) with the information below.
Investigation Monetary Agency
Mr. Robert Doran
Direct Email: email@example.com
Contact Tel: +44 702 408 6306
1. Full Name:
2. Residential Address:
3. Mobile Phone Number:
5. Present Occupation:
Prompt action is necessary as time is of essence
Investigation Monetary Agency
Deutsche Bank (DB)
Mrs. Amy Brooks