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. )
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Western Union" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2020 08:45:04 -0700
Subject: Re: Western Union Pick Up
This is to inform you that we have already sent you $5,000.00 USD through Western union as we have been mandated by United Nations and ECOWAS which are supporting individual due to the worldwide economy meltdown, to transfer to you the full compensation sum payment of $1,150,000.00 via western union by this government.
In this regards, We decided to email the relevant details for you to be able to pick up this $5,000.00 USD to enable us send another $5,000.00 USD by tomorrow as you know we will be sending you only $5,000.00 USD per day. You can track at http://campaign.gtbank.com/click.php/e46698819/TVHljaGVfTUMyMDAxMjAsVHljaGVfTUNfTGlzdCxodHRwczovL3d1bXQud2VzdGVybnVuaW9uLmNvbS9hc3Avb3JkZXJzdGF0dXMuYXNw/qP2NvdW50cnk9Z2xvYmFs/s402656241b before going to pick it up.
Mr Danny Mcwhooter
For re-confirmation of your details fill in the form below,
(1)Your Full Name=============
(2)Mobile Phone Number======
(3)Current Home Address========
Mrs Emily Zendro
Western Union Agent Announcer