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:
- 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:
- "economic and financial crime 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "UNITED NATIONS OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL OVERSIGHT SERVICES" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 2013 10:21:13 +0100
Subject: I AM IN NIGERIA BECAUSE OF YOUR FUND
UNITED NATIONS OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL OVERSIGHT SERVICES
Internal Audit, Monitoring, Consulting And Investigations Division
From:Mr. HAROLD GREEN,
This is to inform you that I came to Nigeria yesterday from London, after series of complains from the FBI and other Security agencies from Asia, Europe, Oceania, Antarctica, South America and the United States of America respectively, against the Federal Government of Nigeria and the British Government for the rate of scam activities going on in these two nations.
I have met with the President of Nigeria Dr. Good luck Jonathan today both of the nations government has claimed that they has been trying there best to make sure you receive your fund in your account.
Right now, we are working in collaborations with the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to make sure that you received your funds approved to you by both the British government and the Nigeria government into your account.
However to expedite action, you are required to re-confirm these information to me
1) Your full names
2) Your current house address
3) Your telephone and mobile number, this is for easy communication
4) Your first and second pages of your international passport or any valued identity.
5) Your full bank account where you want your money to be transferred.
6) Confirm your total amount so that we dont make mistake.
Sincerely, you are a lucky person because I have just discovered that some top Nigerian and British Government Officials are interested in your fund and they are working in collaboration with One Mr. Richard Graves from USA to frustrate you and thereafter divert your fund into their personal account.
I have a very limited time to stay here in Nigeria so I would like you to urgently respond to this message so that I can monitor the transfer of your fund before I go back to London.
For oral discussion, call me or my partner Mr. George Anderson on this number which I just acquired in Nigeria since we came in:
Mr. HAROLD GREEN.
United Nations Under-Secretary
General for Internal Oversight
Emails:firstname.lastname@example.org(contact me on this email address)