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:
- "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)
- 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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION (EFCC)" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2013 22:25:05 +0100
Subject: YOUR RELIABLE COMPENSATION FUNDS / ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION (EFCC)
ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION (EFCC) FOREIGN OPERATIONS DEPT,
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 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 Nations in conjunction with FBI INTERNATIONAL.
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 CAMEROUN AND SENEGAL e.t.c) and they are 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 these Scammers to be shared among 100 Lucky people around the globe.
This email is being 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 and with the information gardered from this Scam artist, we notice that you have been scammed of so much of your hard earn money and have decided to compensate you with this funds to recover the lost of your fees being robbed.
You are therefore being compensated with the total sum $2.5 Million Dollars to be transfered to you personally through an online banking system through our global banking system. We have also arrested all these scam artist who claim that they are Barristers,Bank officials,Lottery Agents who has money for you or want you to be the next of kin of such funds which does not exist.
Since your name appeared among the lucky beneficiaries who will receive a compensation of US$2.5 Million, we have made arrangement to register an Online Banking account through our Global Banking system, where you will have full access to your Online Banking Account to transfer your funds personally to your Private Bank Account at your convenient hours daily.
Feel free to contact your appointed processing officer MR JONATHAN SMITH, The online Banking account system is made much easier for you to transfer your compensated funds to your private Bank Account personally and instalmetally, with a maximum transfer of $100,000usd daily until your total funds of $2.5million is completely paid to you directly.
So you are advice to contact, your processing officer MR JONATHAN SMITH, with a re-confirmation of your informations required for verification below.
Provide the information below to enable him start the processing of your Online Banking Account registration for immediate deposition of your total compensated fund to enable trnasfer.
1)YOUR FULL NAME.
2)YOUR FULL ADDRESS/ COUNTRY.
3)YOUR TELEPHONE NUMBER.
CONTACT PERSON: MR JONATHAN SMITH.
CONTACT EMAIL ADDRESS: email@example.com
CONTACT TELEPHONE: +234-7035033666.
Contact MR JONATHAN SMITH, with the above information required for verification to enable him start the processing of your Online Banking Account Registration.`
We guarantee you 100% safety and wish you the best of luck.
Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde
CHAIRMAN ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION
(EFCC) FOREIGN OPERATIONS DEPT,