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:
- "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. )
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Ban Ki-Moon" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Mr. Ban Ki-Moon" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2014 10:02:02 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: REF/PAYMENTS CODE: 03354.
UN COMPENSATIONS PAYMENTS UNIT.
REF/PAYMENTS CODE: 03354.
AMOUNT ; $2.550 Million USD.
How are you today? Hope all is well with you and your family,You may not understand why this mail came to you.
United Nation have been having a meeting for the past 3 months which ended 18 October 2014 with the World Bank President Mr.Jim Yong Kim and the United States Secretary of State Mr. John Kerry.
This email is to all the people that have been scammed in any part of the world, and the people that have lost their properties in the earthquakes and tsunami United Nations and World Bank have agreed to compensate them with the sum of $2.550 Million (Two Million Five Hundred and Fifty Thousand United States Dollars) each, this includes every foreign contractors that may have not received their contract sum and people that have had an unfinished transaction or international businesses that failed due to Government problems etc.
Your name and email was in the list submitted by our Monitoring Team of Economic and Financial Crime Commission observers and this is why we are contacting you, this have been agreed upon and have been signed.
You are advised to contact Mr. Nnamdi J. Okonkwo of FIDELITY BANK, as he is our representative, contact him immediately for your Check/International Bank Draft of USD$ 2.550 Million (Two Million Five Hundred and Fifty Thousand United States Dollars) This funds are in a Bank Draft for security purpose so he will send it to you and you can clear it in any bank of your choice.
Therefore, you should send him your full Name and telephone number with your correct mailing address, where you want him to send the Draft to you.
Contact Mr. Nnamdi J. Okonkwo immediately for your Check:
Telephone:Â Â +2348086587519
Goodluck and kind regards,
Mr. Ban Ki-Moon
Secretary (UNITED NATIONS).
UN making the world a better place