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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "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. )
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "(ecowas)" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mitch Lawrence" <admin>
Date: Sun, 01 May 2016 21:17:59 +0300
Subject: UNITED STATE INVESTIGATIONS SERVICES(USIS)
United States Investigations Services (USIS)
7799 Leesburg Pike
Suite 1100 North
Falls Church, VA 22043
I am Mitch Lawrence the Vice President, Security and Counterintelligence (CI) for United States Investigations Services (USIS) in alliance with Economic Community of West African states (ECOWAS) with the head Office in Nigeria. With the help of the United States government and the United Nation, we have been working towards the eradication of Internet fraudsters and scam artists around the globe, western part of Africa to be precise.
However, it has been revealed that there's no fund in your name anywhere in the world, if you have been receiving e-mails from Banks, Compensation Office, Lottery, Inheritance funds e.t.c., you're therefore advise to ignore such e-mails they are impostor/fraudster trying to rip you off your hard earn money and if you're in communication with any person or office claiming that your funds is with them, we also advise you to stop/seize further communication and transaction with such person immediately, they are all liars and thieves. Also you're order to forward such emails to this office to help aid the arrest of this fraudsters and impostors.
We have been able to track down so many of this scam artist in various part of west Africa countries which includes (NIGERIA, REPUBLIC OF BENIN, TOGO, GHANA CAMERON AND SENEGAL), they are all in the custody of the Nigeria government, also huge amount of money was recovered from the scam artists. In reference to this, meeting was held between the United Nation, United States government and the African Union in Abuja the federal capital of Nigeria and agreement was reached that scam victims will be compensated with the money recovered from those scam artist that are in custody of the Nigeria Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the United States Secret Agent (USSA) in Nigeria.
Note this e-mail is been directed to you because during our investigations, your email address was found in one of the scam Artists file and computer hard disk in our custody. In reference to this regards, you will be compensated with the sum of US$4,400.000 U.S Dollars (Four Millions Four Hundred Thousand United State Dollars). Meanwhile, the Nigerian government has requested for an evidence proving that you are a victim of a Nigeria scam. In reference to this regards the USIS have appointed a United State base Attorney (Henry J. Laurens) here in the State to advocate on your behalf, provide the requested evidence and process the payment approval for your fund to be release to you.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Attorney consultancy fee has been paid, the only fee you're required to pay to the barrister is US$285.00 only for the processing and pursuer of the evidence.
Kindly verify your details to Barrister Henry J. Laurens to allow him process and effect the payment of your fund to you, also make sure your details and residential address are provided correctly to avoid any atom of mistake and delay during the process.
(1) Your Full Name: ...................
(2) Full Residential Address:.......... (P.O.BOX NOT ALLOWED)
(3) Direct Phone Number: ..............
(4) Valid ID Card: ....................
CONTACT PERSON: Barrister Henry J. Laurens
E-MAIL ADDRESS: email@example.com
As soon as your details is received, the processing to aid the release of your compensation fund will be facilitated immediately.
Treat as urgent!
Vice President, Security and Counterintelligence
United States Investigations Services (USIS)