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:
- "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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "(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. )
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "(ecowas)" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "lagos" (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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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:
Date: Mon, 23 Nov 2015 07:13:47 +0100
Subject: FROM Mr. Ibrahim Mustafa Magu
ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION (EFCC) FOREIGN OPERATIONS DEPT,
I am Mr. Ibrahim Mustafa Magu the chairman
of ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION (EFCC). EFCC in
alliance with economic community of West African states
(ECOWAS) with head Office here in Nigeria. We have been
working towards the eradication of fraudsters and scam
Artists in Western part of Africa With the help of United
States Government and the United Nations and some corrupt
official adminstrators Mr Ibrahim Lamorde has been sacked
who happen to be the former EFCC chairman.
We have been able to track down so many
of this scam artist in various parts of west African
countries which includes (NIGERIA, REPUBLIC OF BENIN, TOGO,
GHANA CAMEROUN AND SENEGAL) and they are all in our custody
here in Lagos Nigeria.
We have been able to recover so much
money from these scam artists. The United Nation Anti-crime
commission and the United State Government have ordered the
money recovered from the Scammers to be shared among 100
Lucky people around the globe.
This email is being directed to you
because your email address was found in one of the scam
Artists file and computer hard disk in our custody here in
Nigeria and with the information gartered from this Scam
artist, you notice that you have been scammed of so much
money and have decided to compensate you with a little token
to recover the lost of your fund. You are therefore being
compensated with the total sum $ 2.5 Million Dollars. We have
also arrested all those who claim that they are barristers,
bank officials, Inheritance, Lottery Agents who has money for transfer or
want you to be the next of kin of such funds which does not
Since your name appeared among the
lucky beneficiaries who will receive a compensation of
US $ 2.5 Million, we have made arrangement to register an
Online Banking through our Global Bank, where you will have
full access to your Online Banking Account Fund, to transfer
your fund personally to your Private Bank Account with no
complication of things or questioning as the Account will be
fully registered in your Name.
Feel free to contact the processing
officer MISS ESTHER EMMANUEL. The online Banking Processing
It is made much easier for you to transfer your fund to your
private Bank Account personally, to avoid any delay or
complication of things. With this Online Banking Transfer
Processing, you can only transfer the Maximum Amount of
US $ 500.000.00 daily / install mentally until the total amount
of your Compensated / deposited fund is transferred and
completely paid to you and also if you choose to recieve your
payment VIA ATM CARD its is still accepted so you get back to her
with your choice of payment.
So you are advice to contact,
processing officer MISS ESTHER EMMANUEL with your provided
information? required for verification below.
CONTACT PERSON: MISS ESTHER EMMANUEL
CONTACT EMAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
CELL PHONE: +234 909 343 3865
Provide the information below to enable
the processing of your Online Banking Account for deposition
of your total compensated fund.
1) YOUR FULL NAME.
2) YOUR ADDRESS.
3) YOUR TELEPHONE NUMBER.
4) YOUR OCCUPATION
5) YOUR IDENTITY.
Contact MISS ESTHER EMMANUEL with the
information required for verification to enable her start
the processing of your Online Banking Account
We guarantee your safety and wish you
the best of luck.
Mr. Ibrahim Mustafa Magu
CHAIRMAN ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL CRIME
(EFCC) FOREIGN OPERATIONS