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:
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "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. )
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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: Dramane Ouattara <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2014 21:30:37 +0100
Subject: ATTN: Beneficiary,
Hope all is well with you and Your family?, you may not understand why this mail came to you. In regards to the recent meeting between the ECOWAS and the Present United States Government to restore the dignity and Economy of the Nations,Base on the Agreement with the World Bank Assistance to help and make the world a better place for all with the sole aim of abolishing poverty. We have been having a meeting for the passed 3 months which ended 2 days ago.
The National Central Bureau of Interpol enhanced by the United Nations and Federal Bureau of Investigation have successfully passed a mandate to the current president of Nigeria his Excellency President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to boost the exercise of clearing all foreign debts owed to Foreigners and Compensate all that have lost their hard earned money to the Nigeria Fraudsters.
This email is to all the people that have been scammed in any part of the world, the ECOWAS have agreed to compensate them with the sum of US$4,600,000 ( Four Million six Hundred United State Dollars) This includes every foreign contractors that may have not received their contract sum, and people that have had an unfinished transaction or international businesses that failed due to Government problems,Contracts Sum, Lottery/Gambling etc.Your name and email was in the list submitted by our Monitoring Teams of Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) observers and this is why we are contacting you, this have been agreed upon and have been signed.
You are advised to contact Mr.Jeffery Alex , as he is our representative in Nigeria contact him immediately for your ATM CARD worth the total sum of US$4,600,000 ( Four Million Six Hundred United State Dollars) This funds are in ATM Form for security purpose ok? So he will send it to you via DHL courier company and you can clear the ATM in any bank of your choice in your country.
Fill this information to him to enable him process your ATM CARD delivery immediately.
1. Full name:
2. Phone and Fax number:
3. Address where you want him to send the ATM CARD(P.O Box not acceptable)
4. Your age and current occupation :
Contact Him immediately for your ATM CARD Delivery with the following information.
Person to Contact: Mr.Jeffery Alex
Give him your File Reference (RE-1537-V) and you are free to contact him via telephone number, it will be better to call him and once you do that he will ask you of your File Reference number which is (RE-1077-V), this file reference number is very important and gives him access to get through to your file and email you back quickly once he confirms your email and your delivery details.
Thanks for adhering to this instructions and once again accept our congratulations.