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:
- "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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "(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. )
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "(ecowas)" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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 (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: EFCC Compensation Dept <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 5 Jan 2019 14:38:59 -0300
Subject: APPROVED COMPENSATION OF $2,500,000 USD
ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION
(EFCC) FOREIGN OPERATIONS DEPT,
I am Mr Ibrahim Mustafa Magu the chairman of ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION (EFCC).EFCC in alliance with Economic community of West African states (ECOWAS) with head Office here in Nigeria. We have been working towards the eradication of fraudsters and scam Artists in Western part of Africa With the help of United States Government and the United Nations.
We have been able to track down so many of this scam artist in various parts of west African countries which includes (NIGERIA, REPUBLIC OF BENIN, TOGO, GHANA CAMEROUN AND SENEGAL) and they are all in our custody here in Lagos Nigeria.
We have been able to recover so much money from these scam artists. The United Nation Anti-crime commission and the United State Government have ordered the money recovered from the Scammers to be shared among 100 Lucky people around the globe.
This email is being directed to you because your email address was found in one of the scam Artists file and computer hard disk in our custody here in Nigeria and with the information gardered from this Scam artist, we notice that you have been scammed of so much money and have decided to compensate you to recover the lost of your fund.
You are therefore being compensated with the total sum $2.5 Million Dollars. We have also arrested all those who claim that they are Barristers,Bank officials,Lottery Agents who has money for transfer or want you to be the next of kin of such funds which does not exist.
Since your name appeared among the lucky beneficiaries who will receive a compensation of US$2.5 Million, we have made arrangement to register an Online Banking Account through our Global Bank, where you will have full access to your Online Banking Account,to transfer your fund personally to your Private Bank Account with no complication of things as the Account will be fully registered in your Name.
Feel free to contact the processing officer MR JONATHAN SMITH, The online Banking Processing is made much easier for you to transfer your fund to your private Bank Account personally, to avoid any delay or complication of things.
With this Online Banking Transfer, you can only transfer the Maximum Amount of US$100.000.00 daily/instalmentally until the total amount of your Compensated/deposited fund is transferred and completely paid to you.
So you are advice to contact the processing officer MR JONATHAN SMITH, with a re-confirmation of your information required for verification below.
CONTACT PERSON: MR JONATHAN SMITH.
CONTACT EMAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTACT TELEPHONE: +234-701-787-9196
Contact MR JONATHAN SMITH, with the information required for verification to enable start the processing of your Online Banking Account Registration for deposition of your total compensated fund.
1)YOUR FULL NAME.
3)YOUR TELEPHONE NUMBER.
We guarantee you 100% safety and wish you the best of luck.
Mr Ibrahim Mustafa Magu
CHAIRMAN ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION
(EFCC) FOREIGN OPERATIONS DEPT,