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:
- 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. )
- "money gram" (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. )
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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: "Mr. PETER MOORE" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Mr. PETER MOORE" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 28 Jun 2015 17:53:44 +0900 (JST)
Subject: PAYMENT HAS BEEN SENT TODAY
PAYMENT HAS BEEN SENT TODAY
I know it is because of your past expenses that make you not to believe me but I told you before that I cannot deceive you because my bible says what shall it profit a man to gain material things and loose your soul, any way their is good news now, i raised some money to help you out and make sure that your payment will be release to you the same day you send the $45 as well.
I borrowed money yesterday after service from my Pastor, then you have to send the remain balance now only $45 but i don't see the reason you have to keep silent on me, honestly I am just disappointed at your behaviors before because you know that I cannot deceive you, Just pay the $45 and leave rest for me watching me if I am telling you lies.
Your payments is already approval today for you to receive it but the management here says that you must pay $45 for the Stamp and activation charge before you can receive the payment today, please send the charge through Money Gram or Western Union immediately, i have assured you a time without number that this is genuine and legitimate.
I swear If I fail to release your payment after you send the $45 as I promise don't count on me again, I cannot fail you, I promise you, don$B!G(Bt fear as soon as you send the $45. today please leave the rest to me and see if I am lie to you because I can not use my life swear because of $45. how can I swear against my life because of this small amount? it is to show you that I am telling you the truth.
So make sure that you try your possible best to look for the money and Pay it immediately via Money Gram or Western Union with the Payment Information Below:
Receiver Name ::::::::CHRIS ISIAKU
Country :::::::: Benin Republic
City :::::::: Cotonou
Question :::::::: God
Answer :::::::: Bless
Amount :::::::: $45
Sender's name ::::::::
I promise you as soon as we hear from you with the payment of $45 today we shall send your pick up information the same day you send the $45. I swear. Note higher authorities that is in charge of international transaction has this morning declared that you will receive your $2.5,000.00 through Western Union Money Transfer Only as a compensation for your past effort here in Benin Republic.
Mr. PETER MOORE