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:
- "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)
- "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. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "firstname.lastname@example.org" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2011 13:21:32 -0700
Subject: THIS IS HOW I GET MY FUNDS
I am Mrs Joan Goforth a USA citizen, 68 years Old. I reside here in Denton, Texas. My residential address is 38 Wellington Oaks Cir, Denton, TX, United States, I am one of the fraud victims, many years ago, I was cheated and had lost over US$74,000 while in the US, trying to get my contract funds which i executed in Africa but all to no avail. They always stopped my transfer with one reason or the order.
On 2nd May,20011 I got an invitation letter from ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION(E.F.C.C) WASHINGTON D.C office to come to their office address at 1895 K ST NW Suite 300 Washington DC 20006 USA Their Tellephone No:+1 206 317 3413. I decided to travel with my Son to WASHINGTON D.C And I was directed by the ( FBI) Director to contact Mr. Kelvin Williams, who is a representative of the ( FBI ) currently in Ghana West Africa. I contacted him and he explained everything to me via email.
He invited me to Ghana and showed me a booklet were the Leaders of the African and International Crime fighters has come together to inform the world what is going on and they have already recovered over $422 Million Dollars (Four Hundred and Twenty two Million Dollars) from the people they have apprehended. The reason i am writing you this letter is because your name was given to me to contact you because your name was mentioned to them by one of the fraudsters in their detention room after serious investigation and they want to refund all lost fund to its legitimate owners.
My money was paid to me successful. Right now, I am the most happiest woman on earth because I have finally received my funds Mr. Kelvin Williams, showed me from their official file were all names were listed and told me that they have been contacting you to come for your claim, this is why I decided to email you and to advise you to contact Mr.Kelvin Williams.
You have to contact Mr.Kelvin Williams directly on this information below.
FBI Claim House Ghana
Name : Mr.Kelvin Williams
In addition to this, if you are unable to go to Ghana your payment can be paid to you in the next few days through the International ATM CARD which will be issued in your favor after contacting Mr.Kelvin Williams. Below are few list of tracking numbers you can track from UPS website to confirm people like you who have received their Atm Card successfully.
Name: Donna L. Vargas: UPS Tracking Number: EO 989 255 511 US (www.usps.com)
Name: Rovenda Elaine Clayton: fedex Tracking Number: 873944886796 (www.fedex.com/us)
The only Money I paid after I met Mr.Kelvin Williams was just $390 for the Ownership Paper Works, Take note of that because that was only money I paid.
Once again, I will advise you to contact Mr.Kelvin Williams so that he can help you to get your funds instead of dealing with those liars that will be turning you around asking for different kind of money to complete your transaction.
Thank You and Be Blessed.
Mrs Joan Goforth
38 Wellington Oaks Cir, Denton, TX,