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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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. )
- "transferred into your bank account" (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)
- ",000,000" (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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Jeffrey Rosen, Deputy Attorney General." <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 2020 01:14:16 +0100
Subject: Dear Sir / Madam.
Dear Sir / Madam.
Due to the Corona Virus (): The Legal action by US authorities
against Western Union could result in compensation being paid to
thousands of scam victims who made payments via the international
money transfer service this year.
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued a penalty of US$586
million to Western Union for aiding fraud, with the funds being used
to refund scam victims throughout the world. This covers the period
from 1 July 2006 to December 2020. According to Consumer Protection
data since, about a thousands of victims reported paying almost $26
million to scammers via Western Union and there would be many more
that have suffered losses but have not reported it. The total figure
will be higher. The Commissioner for Consumer Protection David
Hillyard urges scam victims who lost money in this way to contact the
Central bank of Ghana with the below email address and contact
âEvery day we hear heartbreaking stories of victims who have lost
money to online fraudsters and history tells us that many have
transferred their money overseas using Western Union services.
âThe types of scams involved cover a wide range: fake prizes or
lotteries; online dating or romance fraud; bogus pleas for help from
friends or relatives; fake online shopping sites or advance fees for
âOur frustration is that we can do very little once the money has been
sent to the scammers and we must inform victims that there is no
realistic chance for them to get their money back.
âThis court judgement in the US, however, now gives many victims some
hope to receive compensation. While there are no guarantees, we would
appeal to victims to contact the Central bank of Ghana immediately.
Apart from the financial penalty, Western Union has agreed to
implement and maintain a comprehensive anti-fraud program with
training for its agents and front line associates, along with
monitoring to detect and prevent fraud-induced money transfers.
The court ruling followed joint investigations by the US Federal Trade
Commission, the US Department of Justice and the US Postal Inspection
Service. More information about this case is available at
You are advised to contact the Governor bank of Ghana with the
following email address and telephone number bellow:
The Jurisdiction- U.S. federal government have instructed the Central
bank of Ghana for payment due to that most of the VICTIMS was scammed
by the Africans: The total amount of US$1,000,000:00 , will be
transferred into your bank account within 48 bank woriking hours
through bank to bank wire transfer by the Central bank of Ghana as
authorized by the U.S. federal government.
DETAILS AS FOLLOWS:
CONTACT: Dr. Ernest K. Y. Addison
Address: No. 1 Thorpe Road.
P. O. Box GP 2674. Accra, Ghana.
Awaiting for your response after you have contacted the Central bank
of Ghana governor via the email address as detailed above.
Deputy Attorney General.
Jurisdiction- U.S. federal government
Headquarters- Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building
950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C., United States.