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. )
- "million 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)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: davidjoe <www.@diary.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "email@example.com " <firstname.lastname@example.org >
Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2018 22:04:40 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Our Beloved Client
This is to inform you that we've taken it upon ourselves that you receive your
long awaited funds which has been uploaded into Western Union Money Transfer
database for your easy pick up.
I want you to stop any other transaction you have at hand now in order to
secure this fund within the time limit to avoid had i know which you will
regret late if you disobey this order.
You're advised to contact Western Union Money Transfer Consultant with below
information and be sure to abide by what he says because you only have a
time period to claim your $5Million Dollars as sson as possible.
Contact the Western Union Money Transfer Consultant by filling up below form
Cell Phone Number
Next Of Kin
Do contact him right now via email address so that he can be able to process
your pick up information as soon as possible.
Congratulations in advance.
Mr. David Joe
Western Union Money Transfer Consultant