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:
- 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:
- "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. )
- "(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. )
- 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: Office <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2023 11:32:21 -0800
Subject: Dear Beneficiary.
UNITED NATIONS OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL OVERSIGHT SERVICES
Internal Audit, Monitoring, Consulting And Investigations Division,
From: Mr Fredrick Benson
This is to inform you that I came to Nigeria yesterday from London, after series of complains from the FBI and other Security agencies from Asia, Europe, Oceania, Antarctica, South America and the United States of America respectively, against the Federal Government of Nigeria and the British Government for the rate of scam activities going on in these African nations.
I have met with President Muhammadu Buhari, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Who claimed that he has been trying his best to make sure you receive your fund in your account. Right now, as directed by our secretary general Mr. António Guterres, We are working in collaborations with the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and have decided to Ensure That Your Approved Fund Legal Papers Is Secured and authorize the Government of Nigeria to effect the payment of your compensation Approved Fund Valid $35 Million direct to you.
Approved by both the British government and the UN into your account without any delay. All you need to do is to furnish us your Identification (ID) and your direct cell phone to enable us cross check your information we have in our file here with us at the same time advice you on what to do to receive your fund. Sincerely, you are a lucky person. This is because I have just discovered that some top Nigerian and British Government Officials are interested in your fund and they are working in collaboration with One Mr. Richard Graves from USA to frustrate you and thereafter divert your fund into their personal account.
Please reconfirm the information below for more full verification of your transfer:
1. Your full name:--------------
2. Your home address:----------
3. Your contact phone number:-----------
4. Your Occupation: ----------
5. Your marital status/age:----
6. Your valid id card/international passport:--------
7. Home equity, (Yes) or (no)?
I have a very limited time to stay here in Nigeria therefore; I would like you to urgently respond to this message so that I can advise you on how best to confirm your fund in your account within the next 72 hours.
From: Mr Fredrick Benson
United Nations Under-Secretary-
General for Internal Oversight