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:
- 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. )
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "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.
- 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.Kuni Alvarez <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 2 Apr 2016 11:14:57 +0100
Subject: Welcome TO WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER OFFICE.
Welcome TO WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER OFFICE. COTONOU BENIN REPUBLIC/ADDRESS 367 AGBOKOU, ANKPA ROAD OPPOSITE TUNDE MOTORS COTONOU
Time of service: Mon-Fri, 7:30am close by 9:18pm
Saturdayâs: 9:00am close by 8:30pm
We the western union board office has hereby write to inform you that after the meeting with the federal government and the federal ministry of finance today, we found out that you have been nominated to receive an award from the federal government which is the sum of $4.8 Million USD your were awarded by the federal government since 22nd, August 2014. But the ex Director of federal ministry of finance decided out of his greediness to claim the funds and we found your payment file under his table he was fired immediately and they appointed a new director.
Therefore you are advice to provide your receiverâs information to enable us start transferring the funds to you as directed by the appointed new federal ministry of finance director you will be a receiving it as daily payment through this bank Financial bank of Benin republic, and the amount you will be receiving is $5,000 daily until the total payment has been send to you.
Meanwhile you are advice to contact the western union agent Mr. Willy Scott with your informationâs as directed below.
Your Full Name: ___________
Your Address: __________
Your Country: ___________
Your phone numberâs: __________
Date of birth: _________
Copy of your ID or driver license: ___________
And note that you will be asked for this code numberâs (31bx76) remember to include it when sending him your informationâs to enable him find your payment file without any further delay. His name is Mr. Willy Scott Email: email@example.com also call him as soon as you send the information for quick
Warning you shouldnât share this message with anyone to avoid impostor someone trying to claim your fund or anything like that. So be warned this message is for you alone and should remain secrete until you receive your whole funds, and please if you are not the owner of this email address please do not reply back to this email.
Kuni David Alvarez.
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