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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "united state dollar" (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: iyamah sylvanius <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 29 Feb 2016 18:05:28 +0330
Attention Dear Sir/Madam =
This is to bring to your notice that I am delegated from the United Nation=
s to Central Bank to pay 150 scam victims $5.000, 000, 00 USD (Five Million=
United State Dollars) each. You are listed and approved for this payment a=
s one of the scammed victims to be paid this amount, get back to me as soon=
as possible for the immediate payments of your $5.000, 000, 00 USD compens=
ations funds. =
On this faithful recommendations, know that during the last U.N. meetings =
held at Abuja, Nigeria, it was alarmed so much by the world in the meetings=
on the lose of funds by various individuals to the Nigerian scams artists =
operating in syndicates all over the world today. In other to compensate vi=
ctims, the U.N Body in conjunction with the Nigerian Government is now payi=
ng 150 victims of this operators $5.000, 000, 00 USD each in accordance wit=
h the U.N. recommendations. Due to the corrupt and inefficient Banking Syst=
ems in Nigeria, the payments are to be supervised by the United Nations' Of=
ficials and the Central Bank Nigeria as the corresponding paying bank is GU=
ARANTY TRUST BANK. =
According to the number of applicants at hand, 114 Beneficiaries has been =
paid, half of the victims are from the United States, and we still have mor=
e 36 left to be paid the compensations of GUARANTY TRUST BANK each. Your pa=
rticulars was mentioned by one of the Syndicates who was arrested as one of=
their victims of the operations, you are hereby warned not to communicate =
or duplicate this message to him for any reason what so ever as the U.S. se=
cret service is already on trace of the other criminals. So keep it secret =
till they are all apprehended. Other victims who have not been contacted ca=
n submit their application as well for scrutiny and possible consideration. =
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) (Motto: No Body is Abo=
ve the Law) have combined effort with the United Nation Anti-crime commissi=
on to alleviate and redeem the image and past wounds of foreigners and firm=
s who were defrauded, scammed and abandoned by this syndicates to slight do=
wn our dignities to international communities.
Many banks have been in bankruptcy today, Universal firms, Companies and i=
ndividuals due to the activity of these hoodlums. However, investigations h=
ave shown that these people have dropped over 500,000 victims after collect=
ing their money falsefuly, many committed suicide and others living by the =
grace of God. =
With the sanity presently at hand, we have over 250 convicts at hand, 184 =
in kirikri prisons while many are still awaiting trial while We still fetch=
for others who feel they are wise and hope that you will be our friend by =
giving us more information as per clue in apprehending them. =
You can receive your compensations payments via any of this options you Ch=
oose, DRAFT/CHEQUE PAYMENTS/ATM CARD or WIRE TRANSFERS. I shall feed you wi=
th further modalities as soon as I hear from you. For more information plea=
se call +2348029875701
yours faithfully, =
( email@example.com )