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:
- 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. )
- 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 (Hotmail, France; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: MRS LINDA OGENKEM <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2013 22:06:29 +0800 (CST)
Subject: Contact Western Union Bank For Your Payment (UNO)
(U.N.O) have concluded to effect your payment of $1.500.000.00dollars(ONE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS) through western union,but the maximium amount you will be receiving each day starting fromtomorrow is $5,000.00 daily until the funds is completely transfered.
Kindly Contact Western union Agent:Mr.GEORGE LEO TEL: +229-99-38-28-44E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is the information needed from you in order for them to transferyour fund to youYour FullAge__ Address__ Mobile Telephone numbers Office/Home_ Country_
Also the frist $5,000.00 will be send in your name today so contactMr.GEORGE LEO and he will instruct you on how you will be receiving yourmoney,Pls let me know as soon as you received all your funds $1.500.000.00dollars
ThanksYours MRS LINDA OGENKEM