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)
- "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. )
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "(ecowas)" (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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: "Official Massage" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 1 Jan 1988 07:36:12 +0100
Subject: RE: VERY URGENT!!!
ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION
(EFCC) FOREIGN OPERATIONS DEPT, (ECOWAS),
SUBJECT Attn: Beneficiary, Your $1.5 Million Dollars Compensation.
Complement of the season to you and your beloved family!! I am Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde the Chairman of ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION (EFCC).EFCC in alliance with economic community of West African states (ECOWAS) with the 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 the United States government and the united Nation.
We have been able to track down so many of this scam artist in various part of west Africa countries which includes (NIGERIA, REPUBLIC OF BENIN,TOGO, GHANA CAMEROUN 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 scamers 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 $1.5Million Dollars. We have also arrested all those who claim that they are barristers, bank officials, lottery Agent who has money for transfer or want you to be the next of kin of such fund which does not exist.
Since your name appeared among the lucky beneficiaries who will receive a compensation of $1.5Million, we have arranged your Payment through our swift card payment centre. But not that, you are to make a payment of $150dollars for the save keeping of your ATM CARD before it can be delivered to your house address.
Feel free to contact the processing office: Barrister James Barron .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, the processing officer Barrister James Barron with your provided informations required.
CONTACT PERSON: Barrister James Barron.
CONTACT EMAIL: email@example.com
Provide the information below 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.
4) YOUR PROFESSION.
5) YOUR ID/AGE.
Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde
CHAIRMAN ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION
(EFCC) FOREIGN OPERATIONS DEPT,
Note: that if no seriousness is seen in you. We have no choice to other than to cancel your fund.
We have no time to waste in this Transaction any more. This is the second letter and also do disregard
any email you get from any imposter or office claiming to be in Possession of your ATM card. You are
hereby advice only to be in contact with Barrister James of the ATM CARD possessing centre Who is
the rightful person to deal with in regards to your fund and forward any emails you get from impostors to
him so we could Act upon and commence investigation.