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:
- 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. )
- 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: "MSP Inc." (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 2014 03:46:03 -0800
Subject: Application Reviewed and Accepted.
Thanks for your response, your information has been Reviewed, Accepted and Approved by our
YOUR FIRST ASSIGNMENT :
Western Union Money Transfer had reports about lapses in the services of some of their
outlets and some of their staff, the complains are based on reports forwarded
anonymously by customers and phone calls which were also made to the head office.
SOME WESTERN UNION OUTLETS WERE REPORTED FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS :
(I) Customers have reported their money missing
(ii) Slow services
(iii) Unbalanced transfer charges
(iv) Poor services
(v) Rudeness to customers
(vi) Excess charges
(vii) Late opening time and Closing before time.
YOUR SECRET EVALUATION WOULD BE :
Step 1. - You would be sent Payment inform of Cashier Check Upfront before you proceed,
which would cover your payment of $200.00 Income and the remaining balance will be used for
the Assignment Evaluation. As soon as you receive the Payment in form of Cashier Check,
you should cash the Payment at your bank, and deduct your $200.00 Assignment Income,
and the rest of the funds will be used for the Assignment Evaluation at any Western Union Agent...
Step 2. - To make a transfer of funds from any given Western Union Money Transfer location
to another Mystery Shopper, the funds would be picked up by another Mystery
Shopper at another location where a customer had reported.
Step 3. - You would have to record the time at which you got to the location and
how many minutes it took you to get the service.
Step 4. - Upon receiving the funds, the locations address would be forwarded to you,
and also the name and address of the Mystery shoppers funds would be transferred.
You would have to keep a comprehensive report on every activity you carry out.
Should you believe you can carry out this evaluation with little or no supervision,
Kindly confirm your interest in the assignment and your commitment in working with us.
I..................Confirm to have received this email and understand the content and
also my mailing address herein and it is mandatory you get back to us with
your Contact Details and Availability in the following Format .
PERSONAL INFORMATION :
First Name :
Last Name :
Street Address :
Zip Code :
Cell Phone Number :
Home Phone Number :
Alternate Email Address :
Legal Age Required :
Hours Available : from______to______
Please Confirm that you did receive this message so that we can process the funds that
would be sent to your Address for the Assignment immediately. We want your total Co-operation,
Support, Availability and Trust. You are required to Acknowledged that you receive
and understand this email, so that we can proceed with Your First Assignment Parcel Delivery Schedule.
We will await your confirmation response.
Mystery Shopper Inc ®