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:
- "swift card payment center" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "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)
- "(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 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. )
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "lagos" (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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Janice Rowe" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2011 09:32:58 -0800
Subject: Your $2.5 Million Dollars Compensation
I am Mr Farida Waziri the chairman of ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL CRIME
COMMISSION (EFCC). EFCC in alliance with economic community of West
African states (ECO-WAS) with head Office here in Nigeria. We have been
working towards the eradication of fraudsters and scam Artists in Western
part of Africa With the help of United States Government and the United
We have been able to track down so many of this scam artist in various
parts of west African countries which includes (NIGERIA, REPUBLIC OF
BENIN, TOGO, GHANA GABON AND SENEGAL) and they are all in our custody
here in Lagos Nigeria. We have been able to recover so much money from
these scam artists. The United Nation Anti-crime commission and the
United State Government have ordered the money recovered from the
Spammers to be shared among 100 Lucky people around the globe.
This email is been directed to you because your email address was found
in one of the scam Artists file and computer hard disk in our custody
here in Nigeria. You are therefore being compensated with $2.5 Million
Dollars. We have also arrested all those who claim that they are
barristers, bank officials, Lottery Agents who has money for transfer or
want you to be the next of kin of such funds which do not exist.
Since your name appeared among the lucky beneficiaries who will receive a
compensation of $2.5 Million, we have arranged your payment through our
swift card payment center.
Feel free to contact the processing officer Mr. Janice Rowe. The swift
card has been specially prepared to enable you withdraw your money in any
ATM machine in any part of the world, but the maximum is Five Thousand
Dollars Only per day.
So you are advice to contact, processing officer Mr. Janice Rowe with
your provided information required.
CONTACT PERSON: Mr. Janice Rowe
CONTACT ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTACT PHONE NUMBER:+234-702-141-0317.
You have to call him as soon as you get this mail.
Provide the information bellow to enable him prepare your ATM Master
Credit Card including your Pin to access it.
1)YOUR FULL NAME.
2)YOUR RECEIVING ADDRESS.
3)YOUR TELEPHONE NUMBER.
Mr. Farida Waziri.
CHAIRMAN ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION