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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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. )
- "mtcn" (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.
- 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: MR JOHN HIKA <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2010 10:17:56 -0800 (PST)
Subject: THIS IS YOUR $MTCN 0102694066 $4000. USD
WESTERN UNION OFFICE BENIN REPUBLIC
FORIGN OPERATION MANAGER.
RUE #1141 AKPAKPA ROAD C/BENIN REP.
TEL: 00229 98190086
WESTERN UNION HEAD OFFICE DEPARTMENT
REPUBLIC OF BENIN.
FOREIGN CONTRACTOR PAYMENT OFFICE
WEB SITE.www.westernunion.com http://site.www.westernunion.com/
THIS IS YOUR $MTCN 0102694066 $4000. USD
This is to bring you notes and news what is going to happen concern your payment which you leave since because of the price.The Management said that very Beneficary must pay $55 to enable us register your payment bu tomorrow morning but fall to do that we will cancel your payment immediately.
Note; That all the necessary arrangement concern your payment is alraedy now and we are already posted your payment and it is available to pick up now by the receiver but we can not give you the informations to pick it up untill you send our
charges which is $55then we will release the full informations for you to pick up your $4000 Every Blessing Day through western union in any country.
According to our rules and regulations that guiding our Department now any delay we will pick up the payment from western union so make sure that you send the $55 today because tomorrow maybe too late.
So go ahead and send the payment via western union with our cashi er informations below.the transfer charge can not be more than $55 us dollars ok.
send the $55 with this information obiorah simeon
Reciever Name: MR JOHN ONYI.
Country: ....:Benin Republic
City ; ......... Cotonou.
Then the sender's name ok.
Send the money via western union money transfer and forward the payment informations to us for easier pick up.
The Agent will start sending your payment as soon as we got everything done today but any delay will make us to pick up the money back from western union to aviod another person to pick up your payment okay so hurry up.
Below: MTCN TRACKING . And I advise you to track it now so that you will know the truth .
Call me once you send the $55 today Number +229-98589993.
E-MAIL ADDRESS:firstname.lastname@example.org )
THIS IS YOUR TRACK PAYMENT INFORMATIONS AND I WILL LIKE YOU TO TRACK IT NOW: WEB SITE. www.westernunion.com
Sender Name//////. ONYI JOHN
Text Questions///////. Edwin
MTCN: ////// .0102694066
Amount/////. $4000.00 usd
I am looking forward to receive of $55 immediately to enable us to give your the full informations which you will use pick up your payment in any western union but fall to do so you will loose your payment because your have only today and after that nomore.
I wish you good luck.
Yours in service
MR.MR JOHN HIKA
Western Union Department Head office
republic of Benin
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