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:
- "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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
- 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: "MR.Ibrahim Magu" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2019 21:32:49 +0100
Subject: ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION (EFCC).
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
One of the corrupt official administrators Mr Ibrahim Lamorde has been
sacked who happen to be the former EFCC chairman.
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 CAMEROON AND SENEGAL) and they are all in our custody Here in Lagos
Nigeria, We have been able able to recover so much money from these scam
The United Nations 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 being directed to you because your email address was found in
one of the scam artist file on his computer hard disk in our custody here in
Nigeria and with the information gathered from this Scam artist, we notice
that you have been scammed of so somuch money and have decided to compensate
you with a little token to recover the lost of your fund. You are hereby
being compensated with the total sum of $ 5.5 Million Dollars.
We have also arrested all those who claim that they are barristers, bank
officials, Inheritance, Lottery Agents who have money for transfer or want
you to be the next of kin of such funds which does not exist.
Since your name was displayed among the 100 lucky beneficiaries who will
receive a compensation of US $ 5.5 Million, we have made arrangement to
register an Online Banking System through our Global Bank, where you will
have full access to your Online Banking Account, to transfer Your Fund
personally to your Private Bank Account with no complication of things or
questioning as the Account will be fully registered in your Name. Feel free
to contact the processing officer MR.Stephen kelvin for the online Banking
This is made much easier for you to transfer your fund to your Private Bank
Account personally, to avoid any delay or complications.
With this Online Banking Transfer Process, you can only transfer the Maximum
Amount of $500.000.00 USD daily / Installmentally until the total amount of
your Compensated / deposited fund is transferred and completely paid to you
and also if you choose to recieve your payment VIA ATM CARD it is still
accepted so you get back to him with your prefered option/choice of payment.
So you are advice to contact the processing officer MR.Stephen kelvin with
your provided information required for verification below.
CONTACT PERSON: MR. Stephen kelvin
CONTACT EMAIL ADDRESS:firstname.lastname@example.org
Provide the information below to enable the procession of your Online
Banking Account for deposition of your total compensated fund.
1) YOUR FULL NAME.
2) YOUR ADDRESS.
3) YOUR TELEPHONE NUMBER.
4) YOUR OCCUPATION
5) YOUR IDENTITY.
Contact MR.Stephen kelvin with the information required for verification to
enable him start the procession of your Online Banking Account Registration.
We guarantee your safety and wish you all the best of luck.
Mr. Ibrahim Mustafa Magu
CHAIRMAN ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL CRIME
COMMISSION (EFCC)FOREIGN OPERATIONS DEPT, LAGOS-NIGERIA