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:
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- "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)
- "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)
- "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.
- 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: Mr Ibrahim Magu <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 17 May 2017 11:53:03 -0700
Subject: Preferred Payment Method (ATM / Cashier Check or Bank to Bank Transfer)
YOUR RELIABLE COMPENSATION FUNDS/EFCC) FOREIGN OPERATIONS DEPT (CALL ME+234=
FROM MR. IBRAHIM MAJU. m(CHAIRMAN)
ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION
NIGERIA INVESTIGATION BUREAU
14A AWOLOWO LANE,
Motto: No Body is Above the LAW
(BE CAREFUL OF THE HOODLUMS / SCAMMERS)
BE CAREFUL OF THE HUDLOOM
Firstly we introduce this commission,Economic & Financial Crimes Commission=
(EFCC) we fight cybercrime, Internet fraud, scam and money laundering in A=
frica and London United Kingdom Our commission has been in existences since=
2004 and our duty is to stop internet fraud. We have over 7,500 of them in=
our jails around Africa and UK and we are still looking for these internet=
fraudsters and we are aware that a lot of foreigners have been deceived a =
huge amount of money has also been lost to this
fraudsters after promising you percentages in their letters for you to help=
them move funds and they will end up demanding for money from you and in r=
will get nothing.
The Leaders of the African Crime fighters has come together to inform the w=
orld what is going on now and we have recovered over $422 Million Dollars (=
Four Hundred and Twenty two Million Dollars) from the people we have appreh=
ended. The reason we are writing you this letter is because your name was g=
iven to us by one of the fraudsters in our detention room after serious inv=
estigation and our aim is to refund all lost fund to its legitimate owner.
The Government has approved a total of (us$2.5Million) only as the Compensa=
tion of the lost that you incurred as this was a ceiling rate as some suffe=
red more while others suffered less to and the idea is to restore you back =
to the position that you would have been if not that you are defrauded. In =
addition to the compensation amount also approved in your favor is (us$2.5M=
illion) only will be paid to you in the next few days as the International =
conformable Draft has been issued in your favor?
We are doing this in other to retain the good image of this great country, =
the president (General Muhammadu Buhari) has instructed the payment of (us$=
2.5Million) each to 200 victims both America Asia Europe Etc. Due to his po=
litical straightness, all that you have to do right now is to contact the u=
ndersigned furnish him with the following data of yours immediately as we i=
ntend finalizing this payment in few days time.
8.Country Of Residence:
Preferred Payment Method (ATM / Cashier Check or Bank to Bank Transfer)
CONTACTPERSON: Mr.Ibrahim Maju
CONTACT EMAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Ibrahim Maju.
CHAIRMAN ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL
15A Awolowo Road,