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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "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. )
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 14 Dec 2013 06:57:21 -0800
Subject: FROM EFCC MR. IBRAHIM LAMORDE(CHAIRMAN)
FROM MR. IBRAHIM LAMORDE(CHAIRMAN)
ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION NIGERIA
INVESTIGATION BUREAU 14A AWOLOWO LANE, IKOYI
LAGOS NIGERIA . (BE CAREFUL OF THE HOODLUMS / SCAMMERS)
Motto: No Body is Above the LAW
BE CAREFUL OF THE HUDLOOM ,so my dear after you might have read this email
if you are a victim tell me how much you lost and your phone number
including the way you want your money to be paid
Firstly we introduce this commission, Economic & Financial Crimes
Commission (EFCC) we fight cyber crime, Internet fraud, scam and money
laundering in Africa and London United Kingdom Our commission has been in
existences since 2004 and our duty is to stop internet fraud. We have over
7,500 internet scammers in our jails around Africa and UK and we are still
looking for these internet fraudsters and we are aware that a lot of
foreigners have been deceived and a huge amount of money has also been lost
to this fraudsters after promising you percentages in their letters for you
to help them move funds and they will end up demanding for money from you
and in return you will get nothing.
The Leaders of the African Crime fighters has come together to inform the
world what is going on now and we have recovered over $422 Million Dollars
(Four Hundred and Twenty two Million Dollars) from the people we have
apprehended. The reason we are writing you this letter is because your name
was given to us by one of the fraudsters in our detention room after
serious investigation and our aim is to refund all lost fund to its
legitimate owner. The Government has approved a total of (US$10.2Million)
only as the compensation of the lost that you incurred as this was a
ceiling rate as some suffered more while others suffered less too and the
idea is to restore you back to the position that you would have been if not
that you are defrauded. In addition to the compensation amount also
approved in your favor is (US$10.2Million) only will be paid to you in the
next few days as the International conformable Draft has been issued in
your favor? We are doing this in other to retain the good image of this
great country. President Good luck Ebele Jonathan has instructed the
payment of (US$10.2Million) each to 200 victims both in America Asia &
Europe Etc. Due to the arrangements made for this compensation, All that
you are required to do is to contact the undersigned furnish him with the
following data of yours immediately as we intend finalizing this payment in
few days time.
Forward your name & Mailing address (Not P.o Box Please) to Director of
Investigation Mr. Joseph through