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.
- 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. )
- "mtcn" (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 us 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)
- "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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs suzanne donald" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2016 05:28:02 -0600 (CST)
Subject: SERIOUS NOTE: Please Copy and reply to these
SERIOUS NOTE: Please Copy and reply to these
Western Union?Welcome to Western Union
Send Money Worldwide
Welcome to Western Union Money Transfer Agent, We wish to inform you that
the IMF have release your fund sum of $1,8 million US dollars issued on
your name the money was deposited with us in this Office as MTCN credit
card, we shall be sending the money to you everyday $5000.00usd until we
complete the total payment.
We are very glad to inform you that we have processed your first payment
of $5000.00usd, but bare it in mind that the $5000.00usd will not be given
to you except you pay for service charges which is $68.00, you have to pay
the money through our service western union to the information we give you
here, then after confirm the payment of $68.00 from you, we shall release
your first $5000.00usd to enable you pick it up and get back to us for the
second payment,As you can see here is the MTCN Number of your first
payment which we credited for you today, track it with our website:
www.westernunion.com, to confirm that your payment is available.
1)Senders Name:: Holly Waldon
2)MTCN Number::: 7298423178
3)Amount::: $5000.00 USD.
Track it with our website:
https://wumt.westernunion.com/asp/orderStatus.asp?country=CN or you can
call this number to confrim the payment of the MTCN Tel: +299 988-010-03
Note that on your reply this massage make sure you send the full
information Remember that the full details you can use to pick up this
first payment will be send to you once we receive the transfer charge of
$68.00, You have to treat urgent by reconfirming your full information to
us immediately you receive this massage to enable us start the process of
your payment immediately.
1.Your Full Name...
3.Your Tel Number....
These are the information about your money you can go to any western union
to pick up the money, don't forget that you have to settle for the
transfer charge before we can give the full information of your first
payment of $5000.00 usd we waiting to receive the above information from
you so that we can direct you where to send the transfer charge of $68.00
which is only delay now, Kindly use this information to send the transfer
Receiver Name: MORGAN ANDERSON
Country: BENIN REPUBLIC
Test Question: Code.
Test Answer: 221.
Amount to send: $68.00.
We looks forward to receive the transfer charge together with your full
information, to enable us release this first $5000.00usd for you to pick
it up and get back to us for the second payment ok. Call Tel: +229
Get Back ASAP.
Yours in service
Mr. ROBERTSON GRANT
Western Union Manager
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