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)
- "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. )
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS. LEONA COLEMAN" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 20 May 2013 13:50:34 +0200
Subject: THIS IS GOOD NEWS.
Sorry If My Mail To You Is unexpected But I Only Thought Of Doing You a Huge Favor After I Was Given same.My Name Is Carol Coleman and i live in 2538 HACKBERRY ST APT# 202 CINCINNATI OHIO 45206 U.S.A.
I Have Been Through A Lot On Scams As A Victim But On This Day A Friend Connected Me To The Real ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION (EFCC)DEPARTMENT Under The Operation Of MR. IBRAHIM LARMODE As The Chairman Of The Department And I Got My Card Withen 72hrs After Contacting Him And I Only Paid For The Delivery Charges Which Was Only USd$150 And Today,I Am A Proud Beneficiary Of usd2.5 Million Dollars Which Was Released To Me By His Administration.
I Will Advice That You Contact Him And Also Make Your Complains If You Are A Victim Of Such So As For You To Get Compensated.I Am A Living Witness And That Is The Reason Why I Have Contacted You Too To Also Be A Beneficiary Of This Great Open Door.His Contact Is As Follows:
Name:Mr. Ibrahim Larmode
Mobile Number:+234 808 190 520 0
I Will Advice That You Get In Contact With Him With The Requested Info Below So As For You To Be A Beneficiary As Well ASAP.
4....Any Form Of Identification:.....