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:
- 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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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. )
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: WESTERN UNION 022 <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 19 Nov 2011 15:02:44 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: Re: PAYMENT SENT CALL MR PETER FOR YOUR MTCN +22968148645
How are you today? I write to inform you that we have already sent you $5,000 dollars through Western union as we have been given the mandate to transfer your full compensation payment total sum of $2.5Million USD,via western union by this governemnt.I was calling your telephone number to give you the information through phone but you did not pick up my calls through out that yesterday even this morning.Now,I decided to email you the MTCN and sender name so that you will pick up the $5,000 usd to enable us send another $5,000usd today as you know we will be sending you only $5,000usd per day.and it was agreed that you will pay the sum of $95 before they will realease the payment to you.
Please pick up this information and run to western union to pick up the $5000.00 usd and call Director of Operation Mr Peter Alusi because he is the person in charge for your payment so that he can send you another payment today, phone line +22968148645 Email:(firstname.lastname@example.org) email Him once you picked up the $5000.00 USD today.Here is the western union information to pick up the $5000.00; which you will be receiving your payment $5000.00 Us Dollars immediately you sent them their transfer charge of $95 and it will serve as re-confirmation of your file payment from the office in charge.So you are to re-confirm to them the below information,
Your. Test question----
Here Is The Payment information of your first payment that has been transfer but it's still on hold till you send the transfer charge so you can track it now and confirm that it's available for pick up then once you send the transfer charge today, we will release it immediately to enable you pick it today.
SENDER'S:: NAME;Clarita Bascos
MTCN ::: # 9565269431
TEXT QUESTION:::: WHO IS THE FATHER?
HOW LONG ANSWER:::: GOD.
Track your first payment at www.westernunion.com than click tracking,
And We Are Waitng For You To Send The $95 Today
TEXT QUESTION--HOW LONG?
Be advise that the $95 is a compulsory as they told me that is only money you will pay until you receive your payment completely I am waiting for your call once you pick up this $5000.00 usd,Please email me your direct telephone number because I need to be calling you once we send any payment for the informations.
REGARDS MY DIRECT
PHONE LINE IS +22968148645
MR PETER ALUSI
FROM WESTERN UNION OFFICE BENIN REPUBLIC
Send Money Worldwide