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. )
- "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. )
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "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)
- 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 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: "Dr.Micheal Martins" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2017 17:33:59 -0700
Subject: Washington, U.S.A
WESTERN UNION HOLDINGS INC.
Dear Valued Client,
We officially write you this mail as a result of our just concluded findings regarding you and the Fraudsters who victimized you as they in return ripped you off your hard earned money as a result of false promises that you do have some fund with them, however, we have partially and unknowingly been in line to have helped you remit your fund to this Fraudsters without due investigation which at most times are not appreciated by most of our Customers who intend to send money abroad, but yet, we still accept the fault as it is our duty to be interested in the safety of our patronizing Customers which you happen to be one of them.
The Global Crime Fighting Committee along with Money Transfer Companies, which also included Money Gram (MG), had instructed that this process of Reparation be carried out to all Victims, as a medium of showing how much we care about you and feel concerned and pity for your great lost. To this extent, we have been mandated to pay you the sum of $200,000.00 (Two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only), which is intended to be sent to you via Western Union on a daily basis of $5,000 for a whole month till the total fees is remitted. For further enquiry, you are advised to respond to this mail.
Please to help us issue this payment to you, we urge that you detail us with your Pick-up details such as;
Receiver's Full Names:
Receiver's Full Address:
Receiver's Direct Phone Number:
This data's are needed because we need to have them filed and also to have it presented to the Global Crime Fighting Committee for confirmation of Reparation. Please after this, we'll urge you to be very careful when dealing with people you have never met and be conscious of letting out your hard earned money too., As we hope and pray that you'll learn from your mistakes and seize to fall into such trap with your Reparation Prize, however, kindly contact the below person who is in position to release your payment to you.
MR. Paul Morgan.
Western union department
This Reparation prize valued at $200,000.00 only attracts the sum of $75 to be paid as the dispensation fees, once this is received, there shall be no further demands from you, and that will be all you need do to get you fund along with the required information above. NB: Please be informed that this is no kind of a joke, and that this mail is only and strictly intended to those who are willing to be compensated as we do not hope to get response if you are not ready to ad held to this processing as been stipulated by the Western Union Board of Directives. So, be advised to response back with the perspective of sending down your details and be prepared to settle the processing cost, for without this, your mail will not be treated.
Western Union Dept.
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