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:
- "account opening" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "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)
- "(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. )
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "(ecowas)" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "lagos" (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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
- 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: "Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2023 10:10:18 +0100
Subject: YOUR COMPENSATION APPROVE PAYMENT FROM ECO BANK
ECONOMIC & FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION
(EFCC) FOREIGN OPERATIONS DEPT,
FEEL FREE TO CALL US ON +234-708-637-9398 FOR ANY INQUIRY/INFORMATION.
ATTN: BENEFICIARY :
I AM MR. ABDULRASHEED BAWA THE NEW ACTING CHAIRMAN OF ECONOMIC &
FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION (EFCC). EFCC IN ALLIANCE WITH ECONOMIC
COMMUNITY OF WEST AFRICAN STATES (ECOWAS) WITH HEAD OFFICE HERE IN
NIGERIA. WE HAVE BEEN WORKING TOWARDS THE ERADICATION OF FRAUDSTERS
AND SCAM ARTISTS IN WESTERN PART OF AFRICA WITH THE HELP OF UNITED
STATES GOVERNMENT AND THE UNITED NATIONS.
WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO TRACK DOWN SO MANY OF THIS SCAM ARTIST IN VARIOUS
PARTS OF WEST AFRICAN COUNTRIES WHICH INCLUDES (NIGERIA, REPUBLIC OF
BENIN, TOGO, GHANA, CAMEROON AND SENEGAL, EVEN ASIA AND LONDON) AND
THEY ARE ALL IN OUR CUSTODY HERE IN LAGOS NIGERIA.
WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO RECOVER SO MUCH MONEY FROM THESE SCAM ARTISTS.
THE UNITED NATION ANTI-CRIME COMMISSION AND THE UNITED STATE
GOVERNMENT HAVE ORDERED THE MONEY RECOVERED FROM THE STAMMERS TO BE
SHARED AMONG 100 LUCKY PEOPLE AROUND THE GLOBE.
THIS EMAIL IS BEING DIRECTED TO YOU BECAUSE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS WAS
FOUND IN ONE OF THE SCAM ARTISTS FILE AND COMPUTER HARD DISK IN OUR
CUSTODY HERE IN NIGERIA AND WITH THE INFORMATION GARDENED FROM THIS
SCAM ARTIST, WE NOTICE THAT YOU HAVE BEEN SCAMMED OF SO MUCH MONEY AND
HAVE DECIDED TO COMPENSATE YOU WITH A LITTLE TOKEN TO RECOVER THE LOST
OF YOUR FUND. YOU ARE THEREFORE BEING COMPENSATED WITH THE TOTAL SUM
$3.5 MILLION DOLLARS. WE HAVE ALSO ARRESTED ALL THOSE WHO CLAIM THAT
THEY ARE BARRISTERS, BANK OFFICIALS, LOTTERY AGENTS WHO HAS MONEY FOR
TRANSFER OR WANT YOU TO BE THE NEXT OF KIN OF SUCH FUNDS WHICH DOES
SINCE YOUR NAME APPEARED AMONG THE LUCKY BENEFICIARIES WHO WILL
RECEIVE A COMPENSATION OF US$3.5 MILLION, WE HAVE MADE ARRANGEMENT TO
TRANSFER THE FUND THROUGH WIRE TRANSFER WHICH YOU CANNOT PAY ANY
TRANSFER FEE OR COST RATHER YOU WILL ONLY OPEN NONE RESIDENT ACCOUNT
WITH THE TRANSFER BANK, WHERE YOU WILL HAVE FULL ACCESS TO THE ACCOUNT
YOU OPEN WHERE THE US$3.5 MILLION WILL BE DEPOSITED BEFORE FINAL
TRANSFER TO YOUR ACCOUNT IN YOUR COUNTRY THROUGH YOUR ORDER. FEEL FREE
TO CONTACT THE PROCESSING OFFICER MR. JOHN WALKER (CANADIAN) WITH YOUR
PROVIDED INFORMATIONâS REQUIRED FOR VERIFICATION BELOW.
CONTACT PERSON: MR. JOHN WALKER (CANADIAN) CONTACT EMAIL ADDRESS: (
ECOTRANSFERBANK0@GMAIL.COM ) PROVIDE THE INFORMATION BELOW TO ENABLE
THE PROCESSING OF YOUR PAYMENT / OPENING OF THE ACCOUNT THROUGH THE
TRANSFER BANK [ECO BANK OF NIGERIA AS THE APEX BANK IN NIGERIA].
(1) YOUR FULL NAME ==========================================
(2) YOUR ADDRESS===========================================
(3) PHONE NUMBER===========================================
(4) AGE AND OCCUPATION======================================
(5) COPY OF YOUR DRIVER LICENSE=====================================
CONTACT MR. JOHN WALKER (CANADIAN) WITH THE INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR
VERIFICATION TO ENABLE HIM START THE PROCESSING OF YOUR ACCOUNT
OPENING. WE GUARANTEE YOUR SAFETY AND WISH YOU THE BEST OF LUCK. FEEL
FREE TO CALL US ON +234-708-637-9398 FOR ANY INQUIRY/INFORMATION.
MR. ABDULRASHEED BAWA
NEW ACTING CHAIRMAN ECONOMIC
& FINANCIAL CRIME COMMISSION (EFCC)
FOREIGN OPERATIONS DEPT,
LAGOS - NIGERIA