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:
- "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. )
- "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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Western Union Money Transfer Department <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Western Union Money Transfer Department <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 5 Aug 2012 02:30:50 -0700 (GMT-07:00)
Subject: FROM WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER
(MR.JIM OKAKA) OFFICER INCHARGE
This is to notify you about the latest development concerning all the payment that are left in our custody which yours are inclusive,besides your were given a bill of $750 in order to receive your payment of which we didn’t hear from you for sometime now....
Hence, our western union Head office is now offering a Special bonus to help all our customers that are having their payment in our custody due to high price of the $750. In order to obtain some certificate words we are now requesting that those involve should pay only the sum of $69. 00 to receive all their payment abandoned in our custody.
Besides my dear, this is the opportunity for you to comply and have your funds transfer to your designated address without any further delay.
Note that after (7working DAYS) you did not make the payment then we will divert your funds to Government Treasury,or we will cancel the payment for this month because this Special bonus is for this month only to help all our customers that are having their payment in our custody
Again after (7DAYS ) We will enter A new project for This year and that is the reason why we decided to help all our customers with their outstanding payments before we enter into the new project.
Be advised to send the $69.00 immediately to enable us register your payment and for you to start receiving your $10,000 every dya immediately.
After the payment of $69.00 you will start receiving your money every day $10,000(IN TWO HALFS $5000 EACH) through western union until your total fund of $850,000.00usd is completely transferred to you.
Send the $69.00 through western union Transfer with the information below,
Receiver's name== Nkechikwulu C. Rapheal
Country== Benin Republic.
Text Question== God
Answer== is good
you advice to send your payment information to our e-mail below(email@example.com ) or you advice to call us on this number phone unless you will call +2348030982103
Be advise that there is no time again for we to call any person. so you advice to call us on this phone number +2348030982103 once you made the payment of $69.00
The moment we receive the payment of $69.00 we will release the first 2 payment information of $10,000 to you for your pick up, We look forward hearing from you soonest.
I wish you good luck.
Yours in service
Director (Mr Jim Okaka.) officer incharge !!!
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