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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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 states 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "(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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. E.Venkatesu" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 07 Aug 2013 08:25:59 -0800
Subject: ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION (EFCC).
ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION (EFCC).
House 48. Albert Macaulay Way Victoria Island Lagos/Nigeria
Phone/Fax +234 70621 90464 -+234 80542 12686
I am Agent Joseph Scott with the ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION (EFCC). The ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION in alliance with Economic
Community of West African States (ECOWAS) 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.
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 CAMEROON AND SENEGAL) and they are all in our custody here in Lagos Nigeria. We have also arrested all those who claim that they are barristers, bank
officials, Lottery Agents who has money for transfer or want you to be the next of kin. 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 people to be shared among 1000 Lucky
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 gathered from this scam artist, we noticed that you have been ripped of so much money and the organizing committee have
decided to compensate you with a little token to recover the lost of your fund. You are therefore being compensated with the total sum $1,500,000, (One
Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars).
Since your email appeared among the lucky beneficiaries who will receive a compensation of $1.500,000 (One Million Five Hundred Thousand United States
Dollars), we have made arrangement to provide you with an ATM CARD that you will use to withdraw your money in any part of the World, we have made an
arrangement with the UNITED PARCEL SERVICE (U.P.S) all you will have to do now is to contact the UPS Office with these Code Of Conduct (REF.57990W) to prove
to them that you are the rightful owner of the ATM CARD all you will do now is to contact them through the email addresses stated below with your Code Of
Conduct and also your Full Name,Occupation,Home Address, Country,Gender,Calling Number
Please contact now for the delivery of your ATM CARD
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
We guarantee your safety and wish you the best of luck.
Please note that e-mails, letters and phone calls are currently been made to unsuspecting persons by fraudsters claiming to have access to their funds.
Every day, people throughout the world are falling victim to scams of one way or the other. It could be an unexpected prize draw or lottery win, or a chance
to invest in an exciting new money-making or investment program . In the circumstance, we unreservedly advice you to dissociate yourself from all
correspondence and transactions entered into based on evidently fraudulent and fictitious claims.