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:
- "we advice you" (this email uses bad English)
- "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. )
- "abuja" (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.
- 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: "The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2014 22:54:12 -0300 (ART)
Subject: READ AND GET BACK TO US!!!!
Hope you get this mail in good health and sound mind. The Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has detected from there data base that
you have been scammed by some fraudulent people here in Nigeria.
Also report has reached us that you have sent so much
money to this scam artist Please if you are still contacting this people
we advice you to stop and use your hard earn money for something good.
However, the President of this great nation,Dr.GoodLuck Jonanthan has
signed a check of $200,000 usd each to 100 scammed victims as a
compensation fee. Among these 100 scam victims, your email contact was
You are strongly advice to provide your full banking information were you
want your money to be transferred using the below email info
Also a phone number to contact you with is needed.
This massage was brought to you by (TAN) Transformation Ambassadors of
Abuja ?? F.C.T.