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. )
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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: "WESTERN UNION FOUNDATION ASIA" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2019 06:20:25 +0800
Subject: :: CLAIM YOUR $631,000.00 USD GRANT PRIZE ::
WESTERN UNION FOUNDATION ASIA ©
[ Head Office ] - KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
- WESTERN UNION FOUNDATION ASIA GRANT 2019 -
" C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S "
YOU HAVE BEEN AWARDED THE SUM OF $631,000.00 USD.
A WESTERN UNION MONEYWISE MASTER DEBIT CARD WILL BE ISSUED ON YOUR NAME AND SENT TO YOU .
NOTE: The Delivery Of Your WESTERN UNION MONEYWISE MASTER DEBIT CARD To Your HOME ADDRESS is FREE !
Your Reference Number is: [ WUF/WU2019/MYK ]
For More Information to claim your Grant Prize, Please Contact Us -
E-mail : email@example.com
Telephone : (+601) 62333090
CONGRATULATION ONCE AGAIN FROM WESTERN UNION FOUNDATION ASIA ©