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. )
- "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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION (EFCC)" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 4 Oct 2019 23:10:32 +0100
Subject: Attention Beneficiary Are You Dead Or Alive
FROM THE DESK OF MR IBRAHIM MAGU
EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN ECONOMIC AND
FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION (EFCC) IN
CONJUCTION WITH THE
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (FBI)
N0. 15A AWOLOWO ROAD, IKOYI
Dear Sir / Madame,
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 I have been in my life since 2004 and my duty is to
stop Internet Fraud.
I really do not know what you think of me as i can assure you that
this is not One of those scam email you get I am giving you my world
that this is no scam. CONTACT PERSON: Mr. Rasheed Olaoluwa (PAYMENT
DIRECTOR) with the required information below. I will say that we are
doing it for you get to you with no problems.
CONTACT PERSON: Mr. Rasheed Olaoluwa (PAYMENT DIRECTOR). EMAIL:
furnish him with the following data of yours finalizing this payment
in a few days time.
Your Mailing address (Not Po Box Please)
Your Direct Mobile Number
Update me as soon as you get email from CONTACT PERSON: Mr. Rasheed
Olaoluwa (PAYMENT DIRECTOR) as his bank is the only office approved by
to pay you.