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. )
- ",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)
- "deadline" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a fake lottery scam. Consider the following facts about real lotteries:
- They don't notify winners by email.
- You can't win without first buying a lottery ticket.
- They don't randomly select email addresses to award prizes to.
- They don't use free email accounts (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc) to communicate with you.
- They don't tell you to call a mobile phone number.
- They don't tell you to keep your winnings secret.
- They will never ask a winner to pay any fees to receive a prize!
- 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: Peter Atama <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Peter Atama <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 2015 19:56:00 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Hello Dear WESTERN UNION Award Winner,
Western Union Money Transfer
Avenue Mallan; Quartier Kandevie
Bp 1148 Porto-novo, Oueme BP 1493
Benin republic, Cotonou.
Hello Dear WESTERN UNION Award Winner,
Breaking News,2015/ We Welcome you to our world of promotion Western Union Board Award Group 2015, meanwhile this is to inform you that
you have won a prize SUM of US$1,500.000.00 for the year 2015 WESTERN UNION BOARD AWARD PROMOTION Worldwide.
This was an Email draw promotion which was held in west Africa/Asia/South Africa/and Europe/ The WESTERN UNION BOARD AWARD Group is
sponsored by Chevron oil and Gas Company and others from unconventional oil resources and other international companies. The Western
Union Email draw is held to encourage you and others to play and promote Email users.
All participant were selected randomly through a computer ballot system of different Email users over 100,0000 Unions and corporate
bodies that are listed all over the world and your Email ID happens to be among the lucky 900 Email ID selected by our Western Union
Board Award machine system from over 1 Millions Emails that was used for the contest, this is how you won the Western Union prize.OF One
Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars, US$1,500,000,00,
This message might be coming to you as a surprise but it is to notify all our Western Union Award Winner about the latest development
concerning all the Award that are left in our WESTERN UNION custody, which yours are inclusive. Hence, our WESTERN UNION is now offering
a SPECIAL BONUS to help all our Western Union Award Winners that are Listed to our Western Union Headquarters. In order words we are now
requesting that those involved should Comply Urgently to receive all their payment abundantly in any WESTERN UNION Benin Du Republic.Or the awarded person are required to come to this country in person for his or her claim,
Therefore, You are advised to kindly correspond to this email and lets get started with the wiring of your Awarded Funds to your
Destination without any further delay, Contact and Call Director Solomon Ezechuks now with this information below for further
instructions on how to get your SPECIAL AWARD PAYMENT:
CONTACT PERSON: DIRECTOR SOLOMON EZECHUKS
TEL: +229 98170260
Please Remember To Provide your Receiving information as required below to the director as stated above:
These are your identification Numbers:
Ticket Number: 011425896/2015
Serial Number: 3872/506
VERIFICATION AND FUNDS RELEASE FORM
1. Full Name::::::::::
5. Mobile Number::::::
10. a copy of your ID prove OR ANY VALID ID PROOF)
As for Your Payment information:::
It is not safe for us to send you your payment offline, Because we need to hear from you first before we can commence with the transfer
of your award and you have to make sure you are the only person accessing your Email before Responding to this Email for Security reason,
Note that you will take the responsibilities of the wire transfer charges or any of your chosen method on how you prefer to receive your
award Before the WESTERN UNION will commence with your Transfer,
Kindly get in touch with Director Solomon Ezechuks now to enable you start receiving your PAYMENT before the deadline.
WESTERN UNION SPECIAL BONUS PAYMENT DEPT BENIN DU REPUBLIC.