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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "western union" (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. )
- "cotonou" (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.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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.
- +22996552667 (Benin, probably a prepaid mobile phone)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 15 Jul 2009 18:50:07 +0200 (MEST)
Subject: Here is your M.T.C.N #( 008-231-4950 )
YOUR PAYMENT FROM WESTERNUNION #
Welcome To Western Union Phone: +22996552667
Send Money Worldwide
Here is your M.T.C.N #( 008-231-4950 )
This is to notify you about the latest development concerning all the payment that are left in our custody, which yours are inclusive,Besides your where
given a bill of $365.00 in order to receive your payment of which we didnât hear from you for sometime now....
Hence, our Western Union is now offering a Special BONUS to help all our customers that are having their payment in our custody due to of prices. In order
words we are now requesting that those involve should pay only the sum of $99.00 to receive all their payment abandoned in our custody.
Besides, my dear, this is final notice you have to comply and your funds shall be transfer to your designated address.
But remember that after (3 DAYS)three days,you did not make the payment then we will divert your funds to Government Fund, to avoid problem or we will
cancel the payment for this year until next year because this year is not like last year.
Again after (THREE DAYS ) We will enter A new project for the year and that is the reason why we decided to help to all our customers before we enter into
the new project.
So be advise to send the $99.00 immediately so that we will register your payment and for to start receive $5,000 as from tomorrow. After the payment of
$99.00 you will start receiveing your money every day
$5000.00 through Western Union untill the full payment of $1.9m is completed.
Be advise that there is no time again for we to call any person on phone unless you will call +229 9655 2667
E-mail ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
After the payment of $99.00 you will start receiving your money every day$5,000 through Western Union
And please make sure you re-confirm this following information stated below:
Your Phone Numbers====
Send the money through Western Union Money Transfer with the information below,
Receiver's Name== EMEKA EMMANUEL
Country== Cotonou, Benin Republic.
Text Question== IN GOD
Answer== WE TRUST
The moment i receive the payment of $99.00 i will release the first payment information of $5,000 to you and you will pick up the money and i will send you
another money. Hoping to hear from you.
here is your M.T.C.N #( 008-231-4950 )
sender name Beko Samson
Track it and confirm that it is Available for pick up by receiver
but must send us the fee of $99.00 so that we will register your payment.
MR EDWARD BOBO.
FORIGN OPERATION MANAGER
WESTERN UNION OFFICE BENIN
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