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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "required fee " (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. )
- "mtcn" (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. )
- "i will advice you " (this email uses bad English)
- "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. )
- "(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. )
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS. FARIDA WAZIRI EFCC" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2011 03:04:09 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: RESPONDS FROM EFCC COTONOU BENIN REPUBLIC
FROM THE DESK OF:CHIEF FROM MRS. FARIDA MZAMBER WAZIRI (AIG RTD.)
EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN,ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL
(WE ARE AT YOUR SERVICE)
RE: BE CAREFUL OF THE HOODLUMS
We wish to remind you once more in regards of your ($3.5 M US )Dollars which was chanelled to pay to you through atm inter switch card deposited with the DHL for an immediate delivery to your destination.
Knowing that all the charges had been duly settled remaining only $78,00 which you have to send to enable them carry on with the delivery in receipt of the delivery fee immediately today.
Make sure you send the money Today to enable them release your tracking number immediately before taken off to your destination.
I will advice you to re-confirm your home address details to them as soon as you send the money to avoid the delivery of the parcel into the wrong hands.
Also soon as the delivery fee of $78.00 has been paid any other fee arising from any source imposed by the DHL do us good by forwarding the letter to this office because the agreement that you are to pay only $78.00 since every other fee had been taken care off.
Note: Anything after tomorrow if there is no response your payment will be confiscated immediately and will be use to compensate the foreign contractors from Germany and no one will be held responsible for not receiving your over due payment, Take note of that.
Below is the information to send the money:
Receiver Name: Miracle Nwekwu
Country: Benin Republic
Question: who Son?
MTCN Number: ................?
Please contact the Courier Company where your parcel is being deposited and send the required fee to them with the below email.
Contact Person: MRS. FARIDA MZAMBER WAZIRI
E-mail address (email@example.com) CALL ME +229-9809-1364