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.
- 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. )
- "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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.ROSEMARY DONALD" <"www."@siren.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Mrs.ROSEMARY DONALD" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 30 Sep 2017 04:14:51 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Attn: Beneficiary,
FROM THE OFFICE BLU WESTERN UNION COMPENSATIONS BONUS ORGANIZERS.Sir ANDERSON
RICHARD, 101 Street De Independence, 213 BP, COTONOU. BENIN REP.
PAYMENT NOTIFICATION: SPECIAL BONUS COMPENSATIONS FOR FINAL WARNING OF YOUR
PAYMENT OR IT WILL BE CANCELLED.
This is to inform you about the latest RESOLVED by the Board of Directors in
respect to your (UNCLAIMED) Inheritance; Lotto won which have been in our
custody for a long period till date. We learn that you were asked to pay some
certain amount in order to receive your (FUNDS) of which you could not then,
due to one reason or the other. Now Western Union (Department) here is
you a (SPECIAL BONUS COMPENSATION) to help you in receiving your total (FUNDS)
in our custody. In other words, we are now need ($95) only from you for RE-NEW
AND RECONFIRM FEE YOUR OLD PAYMENT FILE which was expired to enable you start
receiving your (OUTSTANDING UNCLAIMED FUNDS) left in our custody.
Meanwhile, this is the last opportunity for you to receive your (FUNDS) and
are advised for your best interest to comply immediately with this resolution
and you will start receiving your funds ($9,000) per day 2x1, totaling
($850,000.00)note that after (4 DAYS) of this notice and you fail to make the
renewal payment as required, then we will convert the funds to Government
account as the law stipulates here which will result to a cancellation of your
payment. Also Note that after (3 weeks) of this notice, we shall enter for a
new project for the year and that
is our reason for offering you this help, so do not to fail to comply.
You are hereby advised to contact the paying officer as directed and send your
details as stated below and also pay the ($95) immediately, so that we can key
in your payment in our PAYMENT DATA BASE to enable you to start receiving your
payment from tomorrow
After the payment of ($95) you will start receiving your money every day
($4,500 X 2) either through Western Union or Money Gram preferably by you
($9,000) until the full payment of ($850,000.00) is completed. The total sum
you will be receiving per day is ($9,000) in two payment($4,500 X 2)
Now re-confirm and forward the below required information with your personal
identification code (ST709D) to our managing director to avoid wrong transfer:
(1) Beneficiary Name----------------
(2) Country and Address--------------------
(3) Direct Tel------------------
(4) Attach of your ID or driving license--------------------
Contact Person: Sir.Anderson Richard,
Board of Directors