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. )
- "million united state dollars" (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)
- "hundred thousand united state dollars" (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)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Kindly Contact Western union Agent:" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Kindly Contact Western union Agent:" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 9 Jan 2015 14:25:10 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015 FROM WESTERN UNION.///
Â Â Attn :Beneficairy, Â Â
The president of Benin republic Dr. Boni Yayi have instructed to send your total fund of ($4.5 million united state dollars) Four Million Five hundred thousand united state dollars in an atm payment card to be sent to you through western union money transfer payment after a board meeting with FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE ON THE 5th of january 2015. Â Â
Your payment will be sending to you by western union, the amount you will receive per day is $5000 usd The minister trust funds of Benin Republic will send you the currently standards track details you need to pick up your ($5000) payment by western union, you will receive every day till you receive the $4.5 million united state dollars. Â Â
The director administrtor trust funds have already signed your payment and you are free to comply with western union payment office. Â Â
Kindly Contact Western union Agent: Â Â Dr. Douglass Hall Â Â TEL: +229-99314 089 Â Â E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Â Â
The financial 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 any hitches in receiving your payment. Â Â
Here below the first payment sent today for you to track and see that it is available to be picked up; Â Â
M.T.C.N:2666869821 Â Â Senderâs First Name: PROSPER Â Â Senderâs Last Name: HONVOU Â Â Text question: Urgent Â Â Text Answer: Payment Â Â Amount:$5000.00 Â Â
Note that the administrator payment need this details from you to process your payment: Â Â
Receivers name----- Â Â Country----- Â Â City----------- Â Â Address----------- Â Â Tel------------ Â Â ID----------- Â Â Test question------- Â Â Test Answer------- Â Â Answer--------- Â Â
You will be eligible to pay for the updating of your payment file which is the sum of $55 usd before you will be able to pick up the already sent $5000.00. Â Â
Call and Comply now because as soon as you send this required details to Dr. Douglass Hall he will start sending and also release the first payment as soon as possible. Â Â
Thanks and Remain Blessed. Â Â Barr. James Keita.