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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million united states 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)
- "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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "(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. )
- "foreign exchange" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "(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.
- 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: "Mr. Ibrahim Magu" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 6 Aug 2016 14:16:37 +0100
Subject: ATTN:YOUR APPROVED COMPENSATION PAYMENT AWARD OF US$10M.
ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION
(EFCC) FOREIGN OPERATION DEPT,
FROM THE DESK OF MR.IBRAHIM MAGU.
ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION (EFCC)
Attention: Dear Beneficiary,
APPROVED COMPENSATION PAYMENT AWARD OF US$10M.
I am Mr. Ibrahim 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 in conjunction with FBI INTERNATIONAL.
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 e.t.c) and they are 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 these Scammers to be shared among 100 Lucky people around the globe.
This is to inform you that a Debit Cash Card Number 7876310003001420 Valued at $10 Million United States Dollars has been accredited in your favour.
We hereby officially notify you about the present arrangement to pay you your over due contract/inheritance funds which you could not complete the process of the released of your transfer valued $10Million,( Ten Million Dollars Only)With Pacific foreign exchange allocation number:PT/sss/10M USD/FEN3345.
We have decided to pay your funds through (ATM MasterCard).This arrangement was initiated/constituted by the World Bank and FBI, due to fraudulent activities going on globally.The ATM MasterCard was contracted and powered by FIRST BANK PLC,NIGERIA.
The World Bank, FBI introduced this payment arrangement as to enable our contractors/inheritance beneficiary to receive their funds without any interference.
Please contact Mr.Kevin M Warsh, an Expertriate mandated by United to cover all outstanding claims due to foreigners since 1998 till date.
Contact him on his Email:firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information to facilitate your claims as the FBI, WORLD BANK and The United Nation has made every necessary provision to ensure that payment goes to you as the beneficiary.
Upon the receipt of this information we are going to credit your funds into the
MasterCard and send a scanned copy of the card to you before we will proceed to
dispatch the card directly to your nominated mailing address by (UPS).
So you absolutely have nothing to worry about as all we need is your prompt response and co-operation.
We guarantee you 100% safety and wish you the best of luck.
Mr. Ibrahim Magu
CHAIRMAN ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION
(EFCC) FOREIGN OPERATIONS DEPT,