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.
- 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. )
- "00,000.00" (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)
- 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.
- +22998078880 (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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: PADDY MORRIS <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 6 Sep 2009 07:04:19 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: ATTENTION BENEFICIARY,
WE ARE THE WESTERN UNION REMMITTING OFFICE THIS IS TO LET YOU TO KNOW THAT
WE HAVE SENT YOUR FULL COMPENSATION PAYMENT OF 2.500,000.00USD TO YOU
THROUGH WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER, YOU WILL BE RECEIVING 6.500.00USD PER
DAY, NOW WE HAVE SEND THE FIRST PAYMENT TO YOU.
SO CONTACT OUR DIRECTOR MR.JOHNSON DARRY AND ASK HIM TO GIVE YOU THE WESTERN
UNION PAYMENT INFORMATION SO THAT YOU CAN BE ABLE TO PICK UP YOUR FUNDS
THROUGH WESTERN UNION MENU TRANSFER WITHOUT ANY PROBLEM.
HIS EMAIL ADRESS IS (firstname.lastname@example.org }
PHONE NUMBER +229-98078880,
AND CONTACT HIM WITH YOUR FULL INFORMATION.
CALL OR EMAIL HIM NOW SO THAT HE CAN PROVIDE
THE PAYMENT INFORMATION TO YOU AS SOON AS YOU CAN.THEY TRANSFER CHARGE IS
ONLY $185.00USD. NOW ASK THEM TO GIVE YOU THE INFORMATION TO SEND THEM THE
$185.00USD TODAY FOR URGENT TRANSFER OF YOUR FUND .