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. )
- ",500,000" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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: Mr John Max <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Mr John Max <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2014 17:11:15 +0000 (UTC)
Â FOREIGN OPERATION MANAGER,
WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER.
OFFICE: Benin Repulic.
LOCATION. RUE BPH141 KINGSTON AVENUE BENIN REPULIC.
REF: MT89TQ Email: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Your winning fund of One Million Five Hundred thousand USD.(1,500,000.00USD) for over longed being
a regular customer of Western union has been forwarded to Western Union here in our branch for
immediate transfer to you. Your payment will be send to you by western Union, the amount you will
receive perday is $5,000.00 ( Five thousand Dollars )The Ministry Trust Funds of Benin Repulic will
send you the currently standard track details you need to pick up your ($5,000) payment by western
union daily till you are able to receive the total sum of 1,500,000.00 United State Dollars($1.5M),
now no need to send you this ATM card because you cannot be able to withdraw with the ATM card due
to the ATM master card contains large amount of money on it and is not activated.
Many people have received their fund through this western union which is safer and reliable with
less cost but the problem we are having with your is that a man from your country by name Richard
Smith said that you are on the sick bed that is why you sent him to come and claim your money .If
you are still alive, We want to confirm from you if you really sent him to claim your fund because
we don't want to make mistake.
The Director, administrative trust funds had already signed your payment, now you are free to
comply with WEMACO payment office on this email :(email@example.com) however, kindly contact
the below person who is in position to release your payment by Western Union per$5,000 a day.
Justice Peter Moore E-mail:(firstname.lastname@example.org) The Western Union Payment Center has been
mandated to issue out your payment and you have to stop any further communication with any other
person(s) or office(s) to avoid hitches in receiving your payment. Note that the administrative
need these details from you to process your payment:
Your full name________________________
Your Phone number______________________
Comply now because as soon as you sent this required details to Justice Peter Ezeu, he will start
sending your payment by Western Union. And do let me know immediately you start receiving your
money for us to share the joy together. You will also receive a call from Justice after filling the
above information. Thanks
Mr John Max
PHONE NO +22999747381