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:
- 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. )
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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. Donald Uche" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2017 12:56:04 +0100
Subject: Your Funds Transfer
Dear Approved Beneficiary,
We are happy to inform you that verification of your data was submitted to the American Consulate here in Benin for screening and all data have being confirmed correct to pay you a total sum of $1,200,000.00 USD as a result of your long due payment. We have been advised to proceed with your payment through Western Union Agent in African Development Bank . You will be receiving $5000 everyday as a result of Western Union laws and I have opened a daily installment account and deposited your $1,200,000.00, therefore kindly contact Western Union agent on bellow details and collect your first transfer slip to pickup your $5,000 USD.
WESTERN UNION ACCOUNTANT OFFICER
Contact Person: - Lounis Dom
You can call him on above telephone number or email and send him the below information to enable him transfer the first $5,000 USD your city for your easy pickup at any western union location:
Your Receiver's Name: ----
Receiver's Address: -----
Direct Mobile/Home Phone: ------
Driven License/Passport Number: -----
The appointed Western Union agent from African Development Bank has being mandated to issue out your $5,000 USD payment on daily basis as a result of Western Union laws.
I wish you good luck,
Mr. Donald Uche