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:
- 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:
- "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. )
- 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)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Abdullahi Ibrahim" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 29 Sep 2018 19:26:50 -0400
Subject: Dear Sir ,
Dear Sir ,
We were mandated by the Federal Government of Nigeria last week to effect the release the sum of US$250,000.00 to each affected (SCAM) victim around the globe under the surveillance of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (E.F.C.C) which your email was included in the list and we have 14 working days to round up this payment as directed by the (E.F.C.C) Chairman .
Last week, we started the dispatching of Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Cards to the affected victims who responded to our notification letter earlier. So you have the opportunity to claim your US$250,000.00 compensation fund through (ATM) Card if you will comply by our legal directives without any delay.
For us to achieve this successfully, you will have to seize further communication with any body outside this office to avoid repeating your past mistakes or losing your funds to criminals after receiving it.
For more information, we will advise that you call or send SMS to + 234 816 962 2603.
Executive Director(Public Sector),
First Bank Nigeria Ltd.,
Mobile: + 234 816 962 2603