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:
- "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. )
- "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: "EFCC Nigeria" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2018 08:24:09 +0800
Subject: Arrested Fraudsters see details in email content
This email is from The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos zonal office.
In the course of our subsequent arrests of suspected fraudsters, we have arrested the people that defrauded you.
Your email address was among the email addresses recovered from the arrested fraudsters, they said you are one of the victims that have sent thousands of US Dollars to them and this is the main reason why we are sending you this email.
See link for details: https://efccnigeria.org/efcc/news/3238-efcc-arrests-three-for-internet-fraud
We recovered about $125,325.50 from both cash in accounts, properties and assets confiscated from the fraudsters that defrauded you and other victims, we have decided to send the money back to you and other victims.
For more details send reply to: email@example.com
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos zonal office.
The content of this email is confidential and intended for the recipient specified in message only. It is strictly forbidden to share any part of this message with any third party, without a written consent of the sender. If you received this message by mistake, please reply to this message and follow with its deletion, so that we can ensure such a mistake does not occur in the future.