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. )
- "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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS.LINDA OBI" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 27 Jan 2013 23:22:39 +0200
Subject: The first $5000.00 was sent today.
The first $5000.00 was sent today.
Our accountant agent has helped send the first USD$5000.00 to you through western union So get back to this office of Western union Agent to pick up this USD$5000 out of the total sum of USD$1.8Million.
Call Mr.James Brown immediately you get this E-mail to enable him speed up for your payment or you send him an e-mail forwarding all the necessary informations required from you so that they will commence on First Payment with Text Question and Answer/ Sender Name for you to pick up the first payment today.
But I will advise that you try and call to facilitate your payment.
we will be sending you $5000 Dollars every day because to transfer the total money to your account will cost you big money for the transferring that's why United Nations give us order to be sending you $5000 Dollars every day and bellow is the information of the first transfer In your name and you are advised to contact the Western Union Agent Mr.James Brown to give you the complete MTCN for the first Installment of usd$5000 because the MTCN sent to you now is not complete as send Eight digit numbers remaining two numbers you will collect from Mr.James Brown, once you have made the contact with him, to enable you pick up the payment of USD$5000 today.
But i advise you call Mr.James Brown Immediately you receive this e-mail with +229-975-147-88 or+229-990-380-91 ask him for the two digit number's of the MTCN :
SENDER'S NAME:......James Brown
Contact us on our:
Western union Agent:Mr.James Brown
Ask him to give you the mtcn, sender name,to pick the $5,000.00. I told him to keep sending you USD$5000.00 daily until the payment of USD$1.8Million is completed.
Again forward him
(1)Your Full Name :....
So that he will be sure that you are the right person to start receive USD$5000 out of the total sum of USD$1.8Million.
from government office payment
Call him immediately to give you Question and Answer Contact person.