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:
- ",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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "we advice you" (this email uses bad English)
- "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. )
- "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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "EFCC Funds Unit" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2018 16:17:42 +0100
Subject: ATM CARD COMPENSATION OF $2,500,000
ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION (EFCC)
FOREIGN OPERATIONS DEPT.
Good Day Belove,
We hope you get this mail in good health and sound mind. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has detected from their data base record that you have been dealing and scammed by some fraudulent people here in West Africa.
Also report and finding have made us know that you have sent so much money to this scam artist.
Please if you are still contacting these people we advice you to stop immediately and support us as the watch dog of the Economy to fish out these bad eggs draging the image of the continent to the mud.
However, the President of this great nation, President Muhammadu Buhari in conjuction and after a meeting with the United Nation Organization (UNO) and the ECOWAS has signed a compensation payment of $2.5Million each to 100 lucky scammed victims, Among these your email contact extracted from one of the scam artist hard disk drive was included.
Since your name appeared among the lucky beneficiaries who will receive a compensation of $2,500,000usd, we have made arrangement to deposit your total compensated funds of $2,500,000usd into an ATM Card endorsed by the United Bank For Africa (U.B.A) to be used for all daily personal withdrawal of your funds at a withdrawal maximum value of $10,000usd per day at any ATM machine in your state until your total compensated funds is completely withdrawn and paid to you.
The ATM card has been specially prepared, designed and endorsed to enable you withdraw your money in any ATM machine in any part of the world where ATM SIGNS and signals are founds,
You are hereby required to reconfirm the information below to enable us forward this to the UBA immediately for the upgrading of your file toward immediate processing and release of your ATM Card including your Pin of access to immediate withdrawal on reception.
You are advice to re-confirm these below information.
1)YOUR FULL NAME:
2)YOUR RECEIVING ADDRESS:
3)YOUR TELEPHONE NUMBER:
4)NEXT OF KIN:
Contact Officer: Mr JONATHAN SMITH
Also a phone number to contact you when needed because we really need to keep a close eye on you to make sure that you dont in any way fall a victim to scam henceforth.
The above required information should be send to us via email immediately.
These information required will be used to secure your Funds Approval Certificate (FAC)
Mr Ibrahim Mustafa Magu (ACNPC)
EFCC FOREIGN OPERATIONS,
FUND RECOVERY DEPARTMENT.
Video Link of recovered funds