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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "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. )
- "farida mzamber 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. )
- "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. )
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 10:04:34 -0600
Subject: Response Needed....
ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION (EFCC)
......we fight against fraud, funds delay and impersonation.
Code of Conduct Bureau against fraud, funds delay and impersonation,
Head Office: Plot 802, Constitution Avenue Zone A9 Central Area
P. M.B 535, Garki Abuja
Our Ref: EFCC/NG/FG/10
ATTN: Dear Beneficiary,
STOP ALL FURTHER CONTACT.
On behalf of this Unit, we hereby apologize for the inconvenience.
I am (Mrs. Farida Mzamber Waziri) the chairman of The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). We contacted you because your Payment File is the very first File here on our Payment Schedule/Gazelle and we found out that you are already in contact with some impersonators who claim to be government officials.
I want you to know that they are impostors; they are only after your money which they will keep on asking you to send more money for some kind of document which is not true. Kindly note that, you dont need any document nor send any money because, the entire document covering your fund has been secured already. So I want you to stop contacting this impersonator. You are advice to STOP ALL FURTHER CONTACTS with these Fraudsters, who are claiming to be some Government Officials. Count yourself Lucky to have been contacted by us today, because this Fraudsters are trying to embezzle more money from you and the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) and the Interpol have already apprehend some suspect.
This Memorandum is to notify you that you will be settled by the Nigerian Government from our initial Deposit Account with International Foreign Remittance of Central Bank of Nigeria. You will be settled with the actual amount which you lost in your previous transaction, including your Inheritance Funds. Your settlement will be actualized within 3 working days after your response to this Official Letter.
For further clarification/investigation, kindly send the below informations to us immediately,
1) Your Full Name & Address
2) Phone, Fax and Mobile
3) Company\'S Name, Position and Address
4) Profession, Age and Marital Status
5).Amount Due for Payment
10.5 Million dollars
This above-mentioned informations will officially enable us to carry out our verification processes and after that your compensation sum/Inheritance Funds will be electronically wired into your designated Bank account.
Your immediate compliance to this will expedite actions on your Payment because here in this office, we have a lot of listed victims to be settled.
Kindly reply to my private email address: email@example.com
I awaiting your response,
Mrs Farida Waziri
Economic and Financial Crime Commission.(E.F.C.C)