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:
- 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. )
- "money transfer control number" (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. )
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found 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.
- +447077075680 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: Mr Saudiq Alman <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 22 Sep 2011 15:30:15 +0200
Subject: WESTERN UNION INSTALLMENTAL PAYMENT ONLY.
(2011 Email Winners)Notifications
FROM THE WESTERN UNION DEPARTMENT
HSC 1894 WESTERN LONDON ROAD
LONDON ENGLAND UK
NAME:.GENERAL ALHAJI MOHAMED KHALED
RE: RSVX /07342/01/11
WESTERN UNION INSTALLMENTAL PAYMENT ONLY.
Security payment Identification Number: XWUNTM000182
Call GENERAL ALHAJI MOHAMED KHALED : PHONE:+447077-075-680 OR
This is to officially inform you that we have verified your contract
Unpaid Unclaimed file presently on my desk, and we found out that you
have not received your payment due to lack of co-operation and not
fulfilling the obligations giving to you in respect to your contract
Email Address Funds and lottery payment through your payment bank.
Your Over-due payment please confirm for immediate release. Get back
to me immediately for necessary steps concerning your Winning Claims.
Sequel to your none reply of my earlier email to you dated Today. On
behalf of the Trustees and Executors to your Unclaimed Funds file of
Funds month ago, I wish to notify
you that your name And Email Address appeared in the Central
computing system in our ministry as the rightful owner for the un
paid beneficiary as the statement of the Funds and you entitled part
payment of your total inheritance funds of $2. Million through Western
Union Money Transfer System Easter celebration in this New Year season
as authorized by Federal Ministry of Finance and Federal Reserve, with
the Central bank.
After the Law Enforcement judgment between the UNITED NATION
ORGANIZATION Agent Mr. Bill Wash and Compensation finance head office,
The meeting held today, with the aforementioned Office and Banks, the
Concluded arrangement has appointed our office (Western Union Money
Transfer) to pay your unpaid fund through western union electronic
system for your easy pickup and to avoid further unforeseen delay that
could make your fund not to get to you in a timely manner.
The Management of the UNITED NATION ORGANISATION HEAD BRANCH here in
West LONDON have submitted your name, city and country
information?s to our office for endorsement & daily activation of
your payment which has been programmed to be transferred under
installment at rate of $5,000 United States America Dollars daily as
Western Union laws here does not allow transferring funds above $5,000
at once from this country to another, but will be sending under
installment of $5,000 daily till the amount is completely paid.
In other words, We have today transferred your first installment
payment available for your Pick-Up at any western union office nearest
to you, (but The Money Is still on hold) due to the unpaid endorsement
& daily activation file fee amount of 89 USD you supposed to pay
before your daily transfer will be made available to you daily.
Secondly, you are hereby advice to stop dealing with your present
transaction either from ASIA/EUROPE they are Fraudulent Offices and
the non-officials member of the Bank as this is an illegal act and You
have to stop further communication, if you wish to receive your
payment immediately through the Western Union Office.
You will pickup the below installmental payment at any western union
office nearest to you with the below information's as soon as you send
the 89 USD endorsement & daily activation file fee today. You are to
track your first installmental payment online at www.westernunion.com
OR Call Western Union tracking number 1-800-325-6000 for available
fund for your verification purpose.
Below is the Western Union Details for you record, You can Track it
Money Transfer Control Number (M.T.C.N): # 675-478-8944
senders first name : Helen
Senders last name : Smith
Amount : 5,000 USD
Country LONDON UK
MTCN : 675-478-8944
You are advised to re-confirm to me your details as required below to
enable the release of your payment total funds worth $2. Million to
you as a matter of urgency with the required below details:-
(1). Re-confirm your full names:
(2). Re-confirm Contact address:
(3). Re-confirm valid Phone #:
(7). Mode of Payment:
We wish to inform you based on a lot of junks mail flying over the
internet and some people are using advantage to collect account
information from people on internet for fraudulent purpose, that is
while it was assigned and approved by International Monetary Fund
(IMF) that your payment will come through Western Union Money Transfer
system and also your funds as been programmed to be release to you
through western union, twice a day, after collection.
As soon as the above are provided, Western Union department in
conjunction with Federal Ministry of Finance will contact you with the
West ern Union Payment information to enable you cash your money
daily. The amount you will be receiving twice per day is US$5,000.00
and the MTCN number will be sending along with the Text Questions &
Answers for you to receive your fund through any Western Union
Location in your Country due to IMF Control, IRS and Home Land Security.
Our Regards and we are sorry for the inconvenience please bear with us.
We look forward to serving you better.
NAME: GENERAL ALHAJI MOHAMED KHALED
Western Union Payments
FORIGN OPERATION MANAGER
WESTERN UNION OFFICE LONDON UK
NAME:.GENERAL ALHAJI MOHAMED KHALED