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)
- ",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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "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. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: "Ambassador WHITE J" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 13 Feb 2021 04:51:37 +0800
Subject: You have been enrolled into this compensation scheme
This email serves as a notification, to inform you on the deposit of
compensation funds by the FBI and Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission in the amount of 100 Million dollars, which will be
disbursed between 20 scam victims, with each beneficiary to be paid
out 5,000,000,00 USD which has been programmed in ATM CARD and will be
deliver to you.
You have been enrolled into this compensation scheme because your
email address was found among an email database saved in a .txt
format, on a computer hard drive belonging to con artists and
fraudsters who were caught and are presently in the custody of the
Economic and financial crimes commission (E.F.C.C),in Africa while
some are in FBI here USA in our custody . They will be facing
prosecution at the end of the month.
It is for this reason that We believe you might have been defrauded in
the past or even recently and as such, we intend on paying you the
stipulated amount in our bid to improve the situation all around you
after these scams have been perpetuated.
To enable the processing of your payment to you,
Kindly send the following to the head of compensation payout
operations with the FBI and EFCC, Phillip Jones at this E-mail
Send to him your contact info below:
Contact Christopher A. Wray today with your
information to enable the Head of Operations commence the processing
of your payment
to avoid any delay.
Ambassador WHITE J.
(475) 476-8921 call or text