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:
- 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:
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "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. )
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Nigerian Crimes Office" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2012 01:17:49 -0700
Subject: Crimes Compensation Of This E-mail User
FROM CRIMES OFFICE Executive Chairman)
ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION
14A AWOLOWO LANE, IKOYI
Motto: No Body is Above the LAW
( BE CAREFUL OF THE HOODLUMS / SCAMMERS)
BE CAREFUL OF THE HUDLOOM
Firstly we introduce this commission, Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (CRIMES) we fight cyber crime, Internet fraud, scam and money laundering in Africa and London United Kingdom Our commission has been in existences since 2004 and our duty is to stop internet fraud. We have over 7,500 of them in our jails around Africa and UK and we are still looking for these internet fraudsters and we are aware that a lot of foreigners have been deceived a huge amount of money has also been lost to this fraudsters after promising you percentages in their letters for you to help them move funds and they will end up demanding for money from you and in return you will get nothing.
The Leaders of the African Crime fighters has come together to inform the world what is going on now and we have recovered over $422 Million Dollars (Four Hundred and Twenty two Million Dollars) from the people we have apprehended. The reason we are writing you this letter is because your name was given to us by one of the fraudsters in our detention room after serious investigation and our aim is to refund all lost fund to its legitimate owner.
The Government has approved a total of (us$5.2Million) only as the compensation of the lost that you incurred as this was a ceiling rate as some suffered more while others suffered less to and the idea is to restore you back to the position that you would have been if not that you are defrauded. In addition to the compensation amount also approved in your favor is (us$5.2Million) only will be paid to you in the next few days.
You are advised to reconfirm the below listed information's to enable us facilitate an immediate release of your ATM Master Card to you.
BY ATM MASTER CARD ONLY.
Occupation& Fax Numbers:
Private Email Address:
We are doing this in other to retain the good image of this great country, the president (Good luck Ebele Jonathan) has instructed the payment of (us$5.2Million) each to 200 victims both America Asia Europe Etc. Due to his political straightness, All that you have to do right now is to contact this Office and furnish us with the following data of yours immediately as we intend finalizing this payment in few days time.
Please and Kindly report any suspected email of scam received by you and stop any further communication with anybody or office suspected to be scam artist.
CRIMES Executive Chairman,
Chief CRIMES OFFICE)
Economic and Financial Crimes Co