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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "million united state 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)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "united state dollar" (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. )
- "abuja" (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 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "CHAIRMAN ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2021 02:52:43 -0800
Subject: Attention Dear Sir/Madam
Attention Dear Sir/Madam
This is to bring to your notice that I am delegated from the United
Nations to Central Bank to pay 150 scam victims $5.000, 000, 00 USD
(Five Million United State Dollars) each. You are listed and approved
for this payment as one of the scammed victims to be paid this amount,
get back to me as soon as possible for the immediate payments of your
$5.000, 000, 00 USD compensations funds.
On this faithful recommendations, know that during the last U.N.
meetings held at Abuja, Nigeria, it was alarmed so much by the world
in the meetings on the lose of funds by various individuals to the
Nigerian scams artists operating in syndicates all over the world
today. In other to compensate victims, the U.N Body in conjunction
with the Nigerian Government is now paying 150 victims of this
operators $5.000, 000, 00 USD each in accordance with the U.N.
recommendations. Due to the corrupt and inefficient Banking Systems in
Nigeria, the payments are to be supervised by the United Nations'
Officials and the Central Bank Nigeria as the corresponding paying
bank is GUARANTY TRUST BANK.
According to the number of applicants at hand, 114 Beneficiaries has
been paid, half of the victims are from the United States, and we
still have more 36 left to be paid the compensations. Your particulars
was mentioned by one of the Syndicates who was arrested as one of
their victims of the operations, you are hereby warned not to
communicate or duplicate this message to him for any reason what so
ever as the U.S. secret service is already on trace of the other
criminals. So keep it secret till they are all apprehended. Other
victims who have not been contacted can submit their application as
well for scrutiny and possible consideration.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) (Motto: No Body is
Above the Law) have combined effort with the United Nation Anti-crime
commission to alleviate and redeem the image and past wounds of
foreigners and firms who were defrauded, scammed and abandoned by this
syndicates to slight down our dignities to international communities.
Many banks have been in bankruptcy today, Universal firms, Companies
and individuals due to the activity of these hoodlums. However,
investigations have shown that these people have dropped over 500,000
victims after collecting their money falsefuly, many committed suicide
and others living by the grace of God.
With the sanity presently at hand, we have over 250 convicts at hand,
184 in kirikri prisons while many are still awaiting trial while We
still fetch for others who feel they are wise and hope that you will
be our friend by giving us more information as per clue in
N/B: You are urgently requested to provide me with the following information
Passport Or National Identity Copy:
Contact me upon the receipt of this mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, if
you wish to receive your fund and stop wasting your hard earn money..
I await your urgent response.
Mr. Ibrahim Mustafa Magu.
CHAIRMAN ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION