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. )
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "JEREMY GREENSTOCK" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 27 Oct 2018 15:51:43 -0700
Subject: 5000 DOLLARS SENT TODAY PLEASE PICK IT UP NOW
APPROVED COMPENSATION PAYMENT AWARD OF USD500,000,00 Dollars
We found your email/name in our list and that is why we are contacting
you, This have been agreed upon and have been signed Therefore, we are
happy to inform you that an arrangement has perfectly been concluded
to effect your payment as soon as possible in our bid to be
However, it is our pleasure to inform you that we have already sent
you USD 5000.00 United State Dollars through Western union as we have
been given the mandate to transfer your full compensation payment (ON
YOUR DELAYED PAYMENT AND THE TIME AND FINANCE WASTED OVER THE YEARS ON
THE PROCESS) total sum of USD500,000 via western union by the Federal
Ministry of Finance as approved by the United Nations Compensation
Committee (UNCC)Since western Union maximum limit is USD5000.00 we
have programmed your payment for USD5000 USD per day until you
receive the total sum of USD500,000.
Note: You cannot pick up the funds yet because your name has not yet
been activated as the receiver of the funds. Please pick up below
information and contact the western Union financial officer (Mr
Desmond) for immediate activation of your total amount.
Below is your first payment for 5000.00 USD sent today.
M.T.C.N: 384 652 4569
Senders Name: Mary Toschak
Copy/paste and track your payment here on below link:
e-mail below Information for the activation of fund immediately. And
also forward the following details listed below for activation
1. Your Receiver Full Name:
3. Valid ID:
4. Phone Number:
Western Union Payment Unit Redemption Center Keep us updated once you
Yours in service
Sir. Jeremy Greenstock
U.N Senior Coordinator of Project Funds.