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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "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)
- ",500,000" (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 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, 3 Oct 2018 09:33:03 -0300
Subject: FRAUD PREVENTION / FINAL PAYMENT NOTICE
FROM THE DESK OF MR IBRAHIM MAGU
EXECUTIVE CHAIRMANECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION(E.F.C.C) IN
CONJUCTION WITH THE
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION(F.B.I)
N0. 15A AWOLOWO ROAD, IKOYI
Dear Valueable Beneficiary,
FRAUD PREVENTION / FINAL PAYMENT NOTICE
Firstly we introduce this commission, Economic & Financial Crimes
Commission (EFCC), we fight cyber crime, Internet fraud, scams and money
laundering in Africa, America and London (United Kingdom) Our
commission has been in existence since 2004 and our duty is to stop
We have over 7,500 of them in our jails around Africa, China, Malaysia and
UK and we are still looking for these internet fraudsters and we are aware
that a lot of foreigners have been deceived and 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
money from you and in return you will get nothing.
The Leaders of the African and International Crime fighters has come
together to inform the world 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 apprehended. The reason we are writing you this
letter is because your name was given to us by one of the fraudsters in
our detention room after serious investigation and our aim is to refund
all lost fund to its legitimate owner.
The Government has approved a total sum of Two Million Five Hundred
Thousand United states Dollars (US$2,500,000.00) only as the compensation
of the lost that you incurred as this was a smaller rate as
some suffered more while others suffered less and the idea is to restore
you back to the position tha! t you would have been if not that you were
In addition to this, your payment of Two Million Five Hundred Thousand
United states Dollars (US$2,500,000.00) only will be paid to you in the
next few days through the International ATM CARD which will be
issued in your favor.
All that you have to do right now is to contact the undersigned- UNITED
BANK FOR AFRICA
NIGERIA PLC. OFFICE ADDRESS: Marina Street, Lagos-Nigeria.
CONTACT PERSON: Mr. Rasheed Olaoluwa (PAYMENT DIRECTOR).
furnish him with the following data of yours immediately as we intend
finalizing this payment in few days time.
Your Mailing address (Not Po Box Please)
Your Direct Mobile Number
Mr. Ibrahim Magu
EFCC Executive Chairman