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:
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (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)
- "email@example.com" (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: "LAMORDE" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2013 20:29:35 +0100
Subject: LETTER OF COMPENSATION
FROM THE OFFICE OF THE CHAIRMAN
ECONOMICAL FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION (EFCC)
MR IBRAHIM LAMORDE
ST 112 OBOKUMA GARIKI CLOSE 5
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
I am Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde the chairman of ECONOMICAL FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION (EFCC) in alliance with economic community of West African states (ECOWAS) with head Office here in Nigeria. We have been working towards the eradication exercise of fraudsters and scam Artists in Western part of Africa. With the help of United States Government and the United Nations we have been able to tracked down so many of this scam artist in various parts of West African countries which includes (NIGERIA, REPUBLIC OF BENIN, TOGO,GHANA CAMEROON AND SENEGAL LONDON) and they are all in our custody here in Lagos Nigeria.
We have also been able to recover so much money from these scam artists. The United Nation Anti-crime commission and the United State Government have ordered that the money recovered from these Scammers should be shared among hundred Lucky people around the globe. This message is been directed to you because your email address and your personal information was found in one of the scam Artists file and computer hard disk in our custody here in Nigeria. You are therefore to be compensated with $700,000,00) Seven Hundred Thousand United State Dollars only consequent to the record we have here, this Scam Artists has defrauded a lot of people of their hard earned currencies, as they claims to be 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 really exist. Since your name appeared among the beneficiaries who will receive this compensation offer of Seven Hundred Thousand United State Dollars only, we have arranged your payment throug
Thanks and we appreciate your kind response.
WE ARE AT YOUR SERVICE.
Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde
CHAIRMAN ECONOMICAL FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION (EFCC)