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:
- 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:
- "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. )
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Economics And Financial Crime Commission," (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2016 01:29:10 +0100
Subject: Economics And Financial Crime Commission,,,,
Economics And Financial Crime Commission,
15a Awolowo Road Ikoyi,
Our ref: 10667fv
Your ref: 890.
We came across your email address while going through the list of people
that have received fraudulent mails from Nigerians. I am Ibrahim
MAGU. Chairman economic and financial crimes commission
(EFCC) of the federal republic of Nigeria. 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 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 $950,000
if you cooperate with us.
We understand that some of these fraudsters claim to be in London England,
Benin republic and South Africa but be rest assured that we know they are
operating from Nigeria. We implore you to assist us with this
We shall compensate you for all your help.
Mr. IBRAHIM MAGU.