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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "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 crime 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
- you will follow in receiving your funds: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org thank you mr. (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Stuart Symington" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 2017 18:11:04 -0800
Subject: CReply ASAP to claim your compensation $1,200,000.00
U. S. Embassy, Abuja
Plot 1075 Diplomatic Drive
Central District Area, Abuja
Office Direct number : +234-708-515-7788
I am Mr. Stuart Symington, the newly appointed United State Ambassador to Nigeria.
The United State Embassy here has resolved on a Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria on-behalf of scam victims to be compensated after Economic and Financial Crime Commissioner (EFCC) arrested some fraudsters in Nigeria who mentioned your name and e-mail as one of their victims of circumstances. Note that after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and other house of representative members, World Bank, United Nations and International Monetary Fund (IMF), they all agreed that you will be compensated with $1,200,000.00 (One Million two hundred thousand United states Dollars) .I was very much annoyed when I found out that you paid much money yet you never receive your funds.That is why I decided to help you.
Respond back to me through this email to enable me give you the step you will follow in receiving your funds: email@example.com OR firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Stuart Symington
United States Ambassador: To Nigeria.