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.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- 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)
- "(ecowas)" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "abidjan" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: ECOWAS COMMITEE <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2021 16:36:08 +0200
Subject: BUSINESS TRANSACTION
We the Monitoring Committee of the West African Economic Community
States(ECOWAS)are contacting you for a business transaction which we
feel will be of great interest to you.
Our duty is to see to the coming in and out going of funds into this African sub
region.There is a fund which we confiscated worth of $8.6 million
dollars.We will like you to receive this fund on your name in your
account and as well helping us in the investment.
You are advised to contact us as soon as you get this message for
details of the transaction if you find it interesting.
Mr John Aka
West African Monitoring Committee
Tel 00225 014380 6352
Abidjan Cote D'Ivoire(Ivory Coast)