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:
- 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: EKO BANK WESTERN UNION <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2012 00:14:34 +0800 (CST)
Subject: western union money transfer special bonus
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Â Â Â
OFFICE OF THEÂ WESTERN
UNION MONEYÂ TRANSFER.Â COTONOU
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Attention Dear
This is to notify you about the latest development concerning
all the payment that are left in our custody on-hold, which yours are inclusive
Besides, where you give a numerous bills in order to receive your payment by our
former Western Union Cashier Manager of which we didnât hear from you for some
Hence, our Western
Union is now offering a Special BONUS to help all our customers that
are having their funds in our custody due to large transfer charges imposed by
our formal Cashier Manager which made you not to receive your total fund of $1.5
as it has been signed and stamped.
You advised to contact our bonus
payment office via this email below and send the sum ofÂ $75.00 to them so that
they can start transferring your fund.
PERSON: DR. FRANK ASHLEY
No.2, Route De L'Aeroport, Cotonou, Benin Republic
Also you advise
to reconfirm your receiver information to the above email to avoid wrong
Your full name.......
order words we are now requesting that that involve should pay only the sum
ofÂ $75.00 to receive all their payment abandoned in our
Receiver name.......Nze Chinaka
Question .......In God
Amount ....... $75.00 Only
dear, this is the opportunity for you to comply with us so that your fund shall
be transferred to your submitted address installment $5,000.00 per day. But bear
it in mind that after (3 DAYS) of not making this payment your fund shall be
canceled in accordance with our constitution 1993/1994, for this year until next
year because this year is not like last year.
We guarantee you that as
soon as you send thisÂ $75.00 we must start transferring your fund to you through
this Western Union Department without any further delay and this is the only fee
you have to pay in this transaction as it was written down already by the
Federal government of this country.
Looking forward for your anticipated
MRS. SANDRA JONES