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:
- 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. )
- ",500,000" (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)
- "deadline" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a fake lottery scam. Consider the following facts about real lotteries:
- They don't notify winners by email.
- You can't win without first buying a lottery ticket.
- They don't randomly select email addresses to award prizes to.
- They don't use free email accounts (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc) to communicate with you.
- They don't tell you to call a mobile phone number.
- They don't tell you to keep your winnings secret.
- They will never ask a winner to pay any fees to receive a prize!
- 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: CONTACT Mr BEN CHRIS LONG <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2017 17:16:29 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: WELCOME TO WESTERN UNION OFFICE YOUR ATTENTION IS NEEDED FOR THE
TRANSFER OF YOUR FUNDS
Hello Dear Western Union Award Winner, We Welcome you to our world of
promotion Western Union Board Award Group 2017, meanwhile this is to inform you
that you have won a prize SUM of US$1,500.000.00 for the year 2017 western
union BOARD AWARD PROMOTION Worldwide. This was an Email draw promotion which
was held in west Africa/Asia/South Africa/and Europe/ The Western Union BOARD
AWARD Group is sponsored by Chevron oil and Gas Company and others from
unconventional oil resources and other international companies.
The Western Union Email draw is held to encourage you and others to play and
promote Email users. All participant were selected randomly through a computer
ballot system of different Email users over 100,0000 Unions and corporate
bodies that are listed all over the world and your Email ID happens to be among
the lucky 900 Email ,ID selected by our Western Union Board Award machine
system from over 1 Millions Emails that was used for the contest, this is how
you won the Western Union prize.OF One Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars,
US$1,500,000,00, This message might be coming to you as a surprise but it is to
notify all our Western Union Award Winner about the latest development
concerning all the Award that are left in our Western Union custody, which
yours are inclusive.Hence,our WESTERN UNION is now offering a SPECIAL BONUS to
help all our Western Union Award Winners that are Listed to our Western Union
Headquarters. In order words we are now requesting that those involved should
Comply Urgently to receive all their payment abundantly in any Western Union
Benin Du Republic. Therefore, You are advised to kindly correspond to this
email and lets get started with the wiring of your Awarded Funds to your
Destination without any further delay, Contact and Call Director BEN CHRIS LONG
, now with this information below for further instructions on how to get your
SPECIAL AWARD PAYMENT:
1. Full Name::::::::::
5. Mobile Number::::::
As for Your Payment information:::It is not safe for us to send you your
payment offline, Because we need to hear from you first before we can commence
with the transfer of your award and you have to make sure you are the only
person accessing your Email before Responding to this Email for Security
reason, Note that you will take the responsibilities of the wire transfer
charges or any of your chosen method on how you prefer to receive your award
Before the WESTERN UNION will commence with your Transfer,
Kindly get in touch with Director BEN CHRIS LONG , now to enable you start
receiving your PAYMENT before the deadline.
WESTERN UNION SPECIAL BONUS PAYMENT DEPT