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:
- 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. )
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: ATM PAYMENT DEPARTMENT FINANCIAL BANK <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2012 08:26:19 +0100 (BST)
Attention Please, Â
Â This is to notify all ofÂ our customers concerning all the payment of ATM card that are left in custody of the dhl delivery,Â I am sorry toÂ say that your Package is right in the USA, Washington DC. And the custom office there at the Washington Dulles International Airport demand the sender to call them and i have already call them and they requested that the receive have to provide a documents called custom allowance from benin republic and this will cost you the sum of $44 and you have to contact the custom officier through phone AGENT NAME: Paul George. Tele:Â +1 206-426-6305 .Â Fax: +1 206-426-6017, and this man has made today as the fianl delivery date, because he said thatÂ as soon as send the money this morning, he will get to your home address this morning for the delivery. So you are advice to send the fee with the below information via western union only with the below information:
Recivers name:----Jona U. Simple
Country:--- Benin Republic
As soon as you send the money today, please you have to call me or you email me the MTCN, so that i can rush to our custom government office to get the custom allowance.and also the custom has also promise that as soon as they receive the document today, they must release it. so you have to let me know your readiness in sending this money today.
Note: your Package is right at the Washington Dulles International Airport custom office. without you dont clear your package this morning and today, looseing your Atm card is at risk. again you have to understand that as soon as you send this money, you are not going to send any more money again till your Atm card get to your destination address. Please note that today is the final day. so try all you can to send this fee today so that you can receive your package this Afternoon 3pm, 28th, July, 2012.. so right now call Paul George. Tele:Â +1 206-426-6305 .Â Fax: +1 206-426-6017 right now he will deliver it to you today because he will be leaving Usa by Wednesday Everning been 28th, July, 2012.
Waiting to hear from you soon.
Mr. Peter Williams.
Tele:Â (+229) 93126095
Reply to this email : email@example.com