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:
- ",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)
- "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. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Kennedy UZOKA" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 2020 09:14:03 +0100
Subject: Urgent Attention:
I am a superior bank official and Group Managing Director/CEO at United Bank for Africa Plc,you are lucky to have me interfer in your transaction. This message contains the terms of banking order, I am not sending you this message to entertain pity, this is why I must inform you first before embarking on such huge lost decision. Your payment file was brought to my desk yesterday with aims of cancelling the transfer. I paused the process and decided to contact you as Group Managing Director/CEO at United Bank for Africa Plc.I am a superior to Mr. Morgan Daniel, Dr.Philip Oduoza and Dan Mathew,Tony Elumelu and rest. My words are final, time doesn't permit me to be in charge of any transaction but as it stands I have taken in charge of your transaction. Your payment file contained information of 4,500,000:00 USD not any other amount, any other amount contrary to this is fake.I have 3 questions for you:
1.Would you like to have this fund by ATM card?
2. Would you like to have the fund by wire transfer?
3. Would you like this transaction to be cancelled and fund confiscated?
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is a Nigerian law enforcement agency that investigates financial crimes such as delayed transaction. The EFCC has notified us that the sum of 4,500,000:00 USD pending on your data will be confiscated in next 48 hours if beneficiary failed to claim it. This is why you have those 3 questions to answer. I was made to understand that you are expected to remit above fees $150 for wire transfer and $120 for ATM card. You have 48 hours to decide otherwise and failure to provide the fee today then forget it.I do not send you this message to entertain pity or pay fees for you, if that is the case do not respond to this message because it is not necessary, you have 48 hours to decide otherwise and failure to provide the fee from now to end of tomorrow or forget it.
Group Managing Director/CEO at United Bank for Africa Plc