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:
- 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:
- "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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr.Douglas Mandes" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2011 12:29:59 +0100
Subject: FOREIGN OPERATION MANAGER THIS IS OUR CONDUCT CODE (303)
This is to notify all our customers about the latest development concerning all the payment that are left in our custody, which yours are inclusive Besides, you where given a bill of $586, in order to receive your payment of $2.5MILLION which we didnt 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 $128.00 to receive all their payment abandoned in our custody. Besides, my dear, these are the opportunity for you and have to comply and your funds shall be transfer to your designated address. But remember that after (3 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 $128.00 immediately so that we will register your payment and for to start receive $5,000.00 as from tomorrow. Be advise that there is no time again for we to call any person on phone unless you will call(+229 99610210 After the payment of $128.00 you will start receiving your money every day $5,000.00 through Western Union $5,000.00 by western union until the full payment of $2.5MILLION is completed. So what you will be receiving per day is $5,000
Beneficiary name----- -----------------------
Telephone-- --- ------------------------
Contact me with this information's below:
CONTACT PERSON:Dr.Douglas Mandes
TEL: (+229 99610210
Here Is The Senders Information
Sender's Name; SAM CHIKA
MTCN : 9320776198
Text Question: When ?
Send the money through Western Union Money Transfer with the
TEXT QUESTION--HOW LONG?
The moment I receive the payment of $128.00 i will release the first
Payment information's of $5,000.00 to you and you will pick up the money
And I will send you money. Hoping to hear from you.
Please, contact Dr.Douglas Mandes for the transfer charge above
FOREIGN OPERATION MANAGER
WESTERN UNION OFFICE
THIS IS OUR CONDUCT CODE (303)
Contact Western Union Special Bonus