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:
- "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. )
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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)
- "we advice you" (this email uses bad English)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "my direct line" (a "direct line" in a scam usually means an untraceable mobile phone number used by a scammer in an internet cafe, a redirection service number that forwards to a mobile or a free voicemailbox in a different country.)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a fake lottery scam. Consider the following facts about real lotteries:
- They don't notify winners by email.
- You can't win without first buying a lottery ticket.
- They don't randomly select email addresses to award prizes to.
- They don't use free email accounts (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc) to communicate with you.
- They don't tell you to call a mobile phone number.
- They don't tell you to keep your winnings secret.
- They will never ask a winner to pay any fees to receive a prize!
- 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. ANTHONY ROBERT" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 20:47:29 +0100 (BST)
Subject: YOUR URGENT RESPOND IS HIGHLY NEEDED
Welcome to Western Union
Payment Center Republic Of Benin
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ATTENTION DEAR BENEFICIARY,
YOUR E-MAIL IDENTIFICATION NAME WAS PICKED AMONG MANY EMAIL ADDRESSES, AS ONE OF THE LUCKY WINNERS IN THE JUST CONCLUDED FIFA 2010 WORLD CUP GAME IN SOUTH AFRICA. THE 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP WAS THE 19TH FIFA WORLD CUP, THE PREMIER INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT, WHICH WAS HELD IN SOUTH AFRICA. IT IS THE FIRST TIME THE FINALS OF THE TOURNAMENT HAVE BEEN STAGED IN AN AFRICAN HOST NATION. SOUTH AFRICA WAS SELECTED AS HOST IN MAY 2004, BEATING MOROCCO AND EGYPT IN A BIDDING PROCESS OPEN ONLY TO AFRICAN NATIONS. HELD EVERY FOUR YEARS SINCE 1930, THE PREVIOUS TOURNAMENT WAS HELD IN GERMANY, WHILE THE 2014 FINALS WILL BE HOSTED BY BRAZIL. THIS IS A NATIONAL E-MAIL LOTTERY AWARD PROGRAM, AND YOUR E-MAIL ID HAS WON CASH PRICE OF USD$ 1,500,000.00 ( ONE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATE OF AMERICA DOLLARS ONLY). THIS LOTTERY EXERCISE IS AN EMAIL AWARD PROGRAM ALL PARTICIPANTS IN THIS LOTTERY PROGRAM HAVE BEEN SELECTED RANDOMLY THROUGH A
COMPUTER BALLOT SYSTEM DRAWN FROM OVER 20,000 EMAIL SITES, AND 30,000 NAMES AND EMAILS ARE PICKED AT RANDOM .
THE WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER BANK ARE IN RECEIPT OF YOUR EMAIL RESPONSE . WE HEREBY INFORM THAT YOUR FIRST INSTALLMENT PAY OUT OF $5000 HAS BEEN TRANSFERRED IN YOUR NAMES IMMEDIATELY WE RECEIVED YOUR EMAIL RESPONSE AND YOU CAN CASH IT FROM ANY THE WESTERN UNION IN YOUR COUNTRY AS SOON AS WE CONCLUDE THE REQUIRED PROCESS IN YOUR FAVOR. ALSO BE INFORM THAT THE FUND WILL BE ON HOLD PENDING WHEN YOU COMPLETE THE REQUIRED PROCESS AND HANDLE THE TRANSFER CHARGES OF $55 TO ENABLE US OBTAIN THE TRANSFER ALLOCATION CODE ON YOUR NAME IN ORDER TO ENABLE YOU RECEIVE YOUR PAYMENT . YOU ARE EXPECTED TO SEND US THE REQUIRED PROCESSING AND TRANSFER CHARGES OF $55 VIA WESTERN UNION IMMEDIATELY YOU CONFIRM THIS EMAIL SO THAT WESTERN UNION CAN RELEASE THE FULL INFORMATION TRANSFER IN YOUR NAME . NOTE THAT YOUR FUNDS WILL BE TRANSFER INSTALLMENT OF $5000 PER DAY UNTIL YOUR ENTIRE AMOUNT IS COMPLETELY TRANSFERRED IN YOUR NAMES. THE FIRST INSTALLMENT
PAYOUT OF $5000 HAS ALREADY BEEN APPROVED FOR TRANSFER IN YOUR NAME THIS MORNING .
UPON CONFIRMATION OF THE PROCESSING AND TRANSFER CHARGES OF $55, YOUR PAYMENT WILL REFLECT INTO THE WESTERN UNION NETWORK DATA BASE IN YOUR COUNTRY AND YOU WILL BE ABLE TO RECEIVE IT WITHOUT ANY PROBLEM. YOU WILL ABLE TO TRACK THE FUND THROUGH THE WESTERN UNION PAYMENT INFORMATION THAT WILL BE PROVIDED TO YOU AS SOON AS WE CONFIRM THE $55. REMEMBER THAT YOUR FUNDS ARE STILL ON HOLD UNTIL YOU COMPLETE THE REQUIREMENT BY SENDING THE REQUESTED FEES AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
IN THE LIGHT THE ABOVE WE ADVICE YOU TO PROCEED TO ANY NEAR BY WESTERN UNION AND MAKE SURE YOU GET THE FEE SENT TO THIS OFFICE TODAY THROUGH THE INFORMATION BELOW TO ENABLE THE PAYING BANK RELEASE THE FIRST PAYOUT FOR AVAILABLE TO BE PICKUP BY YOU IN YOUR COUNTRY AS SOON AS WE CONFIRM THE $55 FROM YOU.
N/B.:Be well inform that your funds has been "legally bonded and insured'', so base on the insurance policy the bank or any of our officials have no legal authority to deduct or add to the value of your funds. In other to secure your funds, be advised to stop communicating with any body regarding this payment, both your local representative and otherwise until you received this payment.
ALL LEGAL DOCUMENTS WILL SEND TO YOU, THE FIRST PAY OUT WILL REMAIN ON HELD UNTIL YOU SEND US THE PROCESSING AND TRANSFER CHARGES OF $55 TO ENABLE RECEIVE THE FIRST INSTALLMENT PAYOUT OF $5000 THAT WE HAVE ALREADY REMITTED IN YOUR NAME TODAY, OTHERWISE YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO RECEIVE YOUR FUNDS.
FINALLY, YOU ARE EXPECTED TO UPDATE US WITH THE REQUESTED PROCESSING AND TRANSFER CHARGES OF $55 TO ENABLE US PROCEED ON THE RELEASE OF YOUR PAYMENT IMMEDIATELY, BELOW IS THE INFORMATION YOU WILL USE TO REMIT THE $55 USD VIA WESTERN UNION .
1.RECEIVER NAME:..........NWAOBI JOSHUA
4.TEST QUESTION:............IN GOD
5.TEST ANSWER:..............WE TRUST.
6.AMOUNT:.........................$55 , USD
YOUR URGENT RESPOND IS HIGHLY NEEDED.
CALL ME ON MY DIRECT LINE ONCE YOU SEND THE $55.00 TODAY,+229-98952802,
MR. ANTHONY ROBERT
(Head of Operations)
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