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:
- "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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "i will 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. )
- "email@example.com" (this email address looks like addresses used in "ATM SWIFT card" 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.
- 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: "ATM CARD DEPARTMENT" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 21 May 2015 13:02:56 -0400
Subject: CONTACT THE DIRECTOR FOR YOUR ATM CARD
Let me start by introducing myself I am Mr. Jacob Andy, I was directed by Good luck Jonathan President of Federal republic of Nigeria and the chairman Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Larmode (Mr.), to notify you on the investigation that took place here in Nigeria.
In regards with the investigation that has happened recently here in Nigeria will noticed that you are dealing with some Nigerians who claimed you have money with them and they have failed to make you get the money and you lost so much money during the process, I am currently paying so many people with the same problem, so I have been directed by the Nigeria government to pay you also but due the late registration of your name on the list of the people I have to pay,I will not be able to pay you much because of insufficient fund, so I will only pay you $10,000,000.00 (Ten Million dollars only) as compensation to what has happened to you.
I have prepared an ATM CARD on your name and I will advice you to contact the dispatcher to enable him send the ATM CARD to your home below is the contact information of the dispatcher, make sure you contact him and get the ATM CARD.
Eco Bank Plc.
Direct phone number: +2347060803746
Meanwhile be informed that cost of shipment has being settled but the insurance coverage of ATM Card is at your expense.
Get back to the director ATM (LARRY BEN) to enable him inquire about the cost of the Insurance of your ATM Card to be delivered at your doorstep and keep you informed.
Fill this form and send it back to him to enable him dispatch your ATM CARD at once.
* First Name:________________________________.
* Last Name:_________________________________.
* Street Address:____________________________.
* State &Country:___________________________.
*Phone: (Area Code) - Number:________________.
*Fax: (Area Code) - Number:__________________.
* Next of kin:_______________________________.
* Id card/ Driving license:__________________.
Send the above information immediately.
Note: you can also receive your funds through bank to bank transfer but you are going to be requiring paying for the transfer commission as no deduction can be made out of your compensation funds.
Note: The government of Nigeria as seized monies from everybody and cooperate bodies that has participated on the issue.
We seize this opportunity to also warn that anyone or cooperate bodies caught bringing the name of the country to disrepute will be firmly dealt with within the ambit of the law. So you are advice to disregard any email you get from anyone or co-operate bodies and forward the email to us for proper conduct.
On behalf of the President of the federal republic of Nigeria, we are truly sorry for the inconveniences and for what you encounter from the Nigerians that make you lost so much money please speak well about Nigeria in your country as soon as you get this ATM card.
Mr. Jacob Andy