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:
- ",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)
- "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. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 2016 11:40:34 +0300
Subject: URGENT FRAUD ALERT
I humbly believe that you are an educated person coupled with the fact that you know very much that Fraudsters are everywhere trying to defraud unsuspecting individuals of their hard earned money. l am IBRAHIM MUSTAPHA MAGU. CHAIRMAN Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
(EFCC) OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA. We came across your email address while going through the list of people that have recieved fraudulent mails from Nigerians.
Per-adventure you fell victim to fraudsters[scammers],and we are looking for evidence from you so that we can get these people and prosecute to life imprisonment for tarnishing the image of our country and making the world an unbearable place. Hence,We implore you to take
precautions.In addition, Stop replying any mails you suspect for the time been Forward every of their mails directly to this office,So that we can commence Investigation.Your interest will be highly protected and you will be Compensated financially with the sum of $1,000,000.00 if you cooperate with us. We understand that some of these fraudsters claim to be in London England, Benin Republic,Ghana, United Arab Emirate and South Africa but be rest assured that we know they are operating from Nigeria. We implore you to assisit us with this investigation. We shall compensate you for all your help.
Signed, IBRAHIM MUSTAPHA MAGU
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission