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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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 crime 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. )
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Director of EFCC," (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 20 Jul 2019 23:19:12 -0700
Subject: With best compliments,
Congratulation to you for we have successfully recovered your fund
We received Fraud signal and report from Our high-tech infrastructure
of technical and operational support that helps us meet the growing
challenges of fighting crime in the 21st century about innocent people
Fund invested in Some Banks in Asia, U.S.A and Africa after our real-time and
pain-stacking investigations, we find out that your name was used to
transfer and invest the Sum of $16,000,000.00 with Central Bank of Nigeria.
We are contacting you because your name and email address was used to
transfer and invest the fund with the bank and all the divident is
paid to the brokerage account in West Africa so We have already
informed the bank that the real beneficiary of the fund will be
in-touch after our through investigation, please we advice to confirm this
information with your full information for final verification before
we get you in touch with the holding bank.
We are waiting for your urgent confirmation of this important message
before we will give you the full details contact of the bank to open
With best compliments,
Mr. Oscar Joseph,
Director of EFCC,
(Economic and Financial Crime Commission)