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:
- "swift card payment center" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- "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.
- +22578638175 (Cote d'Ivoire, probably a prepaid mobile phone)
- 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:
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 2019 11:49:05 -0800
Subject: ATTN: BENEFICIARY
I am Ibrahim Mustafa Magu 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 COTE D'IVOIRE
BURKINA FASO AND SENEGAL) and they are all in our custody here in
Lagos Nigeria and other part of West Africa Country. 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 been 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. You are therefore being compensated with $
2.5 Million Dollars. We have also arrested some of those who claim that
they are barristers, bank officials,Fake Online Daters,Fake Gold Miners, 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 $ 2.5 Million Dollars, we have arranged your
payment through our swift card payment center. Feel free to contact
the processing officer Rev. Daouda Doumbia. The swift card has been
specially prepared to enable you withdraw your money in any ATM
machine in any part of the world, but the maximum amount to withdraw
is Five Thousand Dollars Only per day.
So you are advice to contact, processing officer Rev. Daouda Doumbia with your provided information's required.
Contact: Rev. Daouda Doumbia
Contact Email Address: email@example.com
TEL: 00225 7863 8175
Provide the information below to enable him deliver your ATM CARD to
you including your Pin to access it.
1) YOUR FULL NAME.
2) YOUR RECEIVING ADDRESS.
3) YOUR TELEPHONE NUMBER.
4) YOUR PROFESSION.
5) YOUR ID / AGE.
Ibrahim Mustafa Magu
CHAIRMAN ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION
(EFCC) FOREIGN OPERATIONS DEPT, NIGERIA PLC,