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. )
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: MR ZONGO KOMI <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2016 07:18:06 +0000
Subject: ATTN: DEAR CUSTOMERg
*Attention, following the instruction to pay the sum of $6.7 Million US
dollar to all scam victims by IMF through Money Gram, Western Union and Atm
visa card Transfer service, we wish to inform you that your email address
was one of the lucky ones to receive this consolation fund. You will be
receiving the sum of $5000 daily until the whole amount is completely
transferred to you, But First off all we need you to confirm these details
to make sure that there is no mistake; 1. Name 2 .Address 3. Phone 4
.Occupation 5. Age The above secret code should always be used while
contacting us here is the transaction secret code: MGX678G Note: Your file
will expire after 7 days if there is no response, and then we will not have
any option than to return your fund to IMF as unclaimed. Your swift
response will enhance our service, thanks for your co-operationNote; if you
have anything you don't understand here s our customer care line +226
74599082 Regards, Mr Komi Zongo,*