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:
- 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:
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "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: "Sambo Dasuki" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 6 Jun 2018 06:02:24 +0800
Subject: (REWARD FOR YOU
This is Sambo Dasuki the former National Security Adviser to the Nigeria Government in the Era of former President Ebele Goodluck Jonathan. As you may be aware if very conversant with the Nigerian News, I have been incarcerated for more than two years now facing all sorts of humiliations for being accused with misappropriation of public funds,US$2.1 Billion while in office.
The reason I am contacting you with this message is that there is this fund, US$125Million which I hide secretly in a particular bank here in Nigeria, Zenith Bank. I have decided to move out the fund to Oversea Country as quickly as possible because the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has turned everything upside down for me. They have seized all my assets, frozen all my bank accounts and confiscated the funds both in Nigeria and Abroad. My entire family and every other person connected to me International Passports have been seized by the Authority; placed everybody under surveillance and house arrest for the time being. It is only this particular amount left for me and; if being discovered my whole life will be in a mess.
The fund must be moved out as quickly as possible because according to a very reliable source EFCC Units of the Nigeria Government in collaboration with other Africa Country Governments are currently carrying out a general searching exercise instituted in all banks within Africa region for total cleanup of ill-gotten/encumbered funds secretly lodged in some bank vaults within the shore of Africa and outside. So I don't want this fund being discovered by Government and consequently track me as the owner. I want a trustworthy person who can help me move the funds out immediately. I am prepared to reward handsomely whoever will be ready to help me. Upon hearing from you I will advise you how to go about it. Please treat this matter with utmost confidentiality.
I look forward to hearing from you soonest.