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:
- "activation fee" (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. )
- "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 (Hotmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Samuel James" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2011 17:54:49 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: Your Ref: Code-Bp9377
Your Ref: Code-Bp9377
I think you read our previous mail sent to you???? we are still waiting for your urgent attention with the requirement so that we can proceed with the authority for them to
release your payments for your pick up there immediately. I have told you that both the MTCN NUMBER (695-046-4760) with the senders name forwarded to you now is
100% correct , Meanwhile make sure that you track it by yourself to confirm before going to the western union to send the Re-activation file code and Transfer fee $150
required from you by the Federal Ministry of Finance ok!!!
One more thing you should keep everything in secret to avoid led double claims over your fund until when you have start picking up your daily payment because some
peoples can be the enemies of progress especial when good thing is coming to your way.
Therefore, be rest assured that you cannot pick up the $4000 as to know that we still have problem because and without paying the necessary activation fee required to
renewal your Transfer number Code (KTU from IMF OFFICE, I think this was stated to you in our previous mail to you today, because we are working according to the law of
which we must to follow the instruction which will guarantee the security of your transfer file...
The first payment $4000 was transfer to you since morning here, but you cannot pick up the $4000 until you pay the fee $150 to renewal your expired file and transfer
charges to be effective before you can pick up the $4000 there. Therefore, the below MTCN NUMBER sent to you is very good and we advise that you should track the mtcn
number western union online and then send the fee urgent to enable us meet up with the authority and renewal your transfer file code number for you to be able to pick up
the $4000 there this morning.The amount for your daily payment is computed $4000 twice daily until your full fund of $900.000.00 USD has been successful transferred.
Track the MTCN NUMBER (695-046-4760) online by yourself to confirm.because, it will be release to reflect there for your pick up soon as you send the necessary file
activation fee $150today
SENDER'S NAME:--------- ANTHONY AMUZIE
MTCN NUMBER:--- 695-046-4760
We advise you to click here to track the mtcn number western union online first :- https://wumt.westernunion.com/asp/orderStatus.asp?country=global
The above transfer details both MTCN and senders name is correct and you will pick up the $4000 today as soon as you send the Re-activation file code and Transfer fee $150
required from you by the Federal Ministry of Finance and we are right now looking forward to receive the Reactivation fee $150 which you are suppose to pay before your
transfer will reflect there for your pick up, We advise that you should go now and send us the $150 and then get back to us immediately.The Full Payment $4000 details will
be release to you as soon as we confirm the fees $150 today ok.
THEREFORE, YOU SHOULD GO AND SEND THE FILE REACTIVATION AND TRANSFER FEE $150 IMMEDIATELY TO THE NAME / ADDRESS OF OUR PROTOCOL OFFICER MR
Emmanuel Okagbue BELOW:
RECEIVERS NAME: Emmanuel Okagbue
COUNTRY NAME : BENIN REPUBLIC.
AMOUNT: $150 USD ONLY
You will pickup your first installment $4000 at any western union office nearest to you with bellow information's as soon as you send the $150 activation file Transfer fee.
You are to track your first installment payment online by clicking here:-https://wumt.westernunion.com/asp/orderStatus.asp?country=global for your record purpose. You
can call me as soon as you confirm the mtcn number ok!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OR CONTACT US ON(firstname.lastname@example.org ) phone number
We await to receive the western union payment information today.
Thanks and remain bless.
Yours in Service Mr. Samuel James