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:
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- "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. )
- "money gram" (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. )
- "consignment " (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)
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Secretary General \(AUFC\)" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 12 Nov 2011 15:58:44 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: From Secretary General (AUFC)
Attn Fund Owner,Â How are you today? You are bless in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ Amen!
Well, the reason why I am contacting you now is just to let you know the reason you have not received yourÂ fund from Western Union and Couriers CompanyÂ As a matter of fact,i have verified so many things about your fund and have finally found a solution to it.The reason why you have never received any money from Benin for almost a decade now is that the offices/persons handling the transaction with you were not the right ones.Â You have to understood that no funds that is being moved out from africa as the origin of the fund will be succesfully without undergoing full clearance from the African Union Finance Commission(AUFC).Â African Union Finance Commission is the central banking system of the African Union(AU). It was created with the enactment of the African Union Act to conduct the nation's monetary policy, supervise and regulate banking institutions, maintain the stability of the financial system and provide financial services to depository
institutions, the African continent, and foreign official institutions.Â For this reason,there is no means for you to receive any cheque,consignment,etc from africa without the notice of (AUFC). We must verify the legitimacy of the transaction and after proper verifications and due assesments.If satisfied genuine,we will sign the official approval showing that the fund is of a legitimate source. Not collectral to drug or money laundering and confirmed tax free. Therefore have the fund wired to the beneficiary via our Money Gram department.Â Some offices like western union,diplomatic couriers were known to be associated with scams in africa and therefore should be avoided. For this reason, We have decided to use our money gram department which is the only safe and secure bank that will transfer your funds to you with a maximum security to ensure hitch free transaction.Â According to the director general of African Union Finance Commission:Hon.Dr Kingsley
Frank,it is illegal to move fund above $100,000 USD via cash on consignment because it must be stopped at the airport by the federal agencies responsible for that such as customs,drug law enforcement agency,etc.Â These are all the things you have to be recorded.As i am writing you now,your $9.5Million USD is under the custody of AUFC and will be transfered to you via our money gram department as soon as you have send us the sum of $79.00 which is required to be paid to our Who will sign your fund release order before the transaction will commence in your favor.Here below is the information to send the money to our office;Â Receivers name;...Pius Akwuobi
Country; , Benin Republic.
Text Question; Honest
MTCN;.................Â Moreover, be informed that the maximum amount you will be receiving per day is $7000.00. until your total sum of $7000.00 completely paid to you.We are now waiting for your payment information soon to enable us proceed with your transfer immediately.
Mail joshbirminghamparkway@ yahoo.com
Rev. Lord SimeonCall Number 00229-66-56-7551
African Union Finance
COTONOU â BENIN REPUBLIC.Â