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. )
- "mtcn" (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. )
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "00,000.00" (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.
- email@example.com (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "PROFESSOR HASSAN .KENS" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 9 Jul 2020 23:27:37 -0700
Subject: CONTACT THE AGENCY NOW FOR YOUR FUND
ttention, I am happy to inform you that , we have concluded to effect your own payment through Western Union ® Money Transfer, Out of total sum of M$1.700.000USD alocated to your name as compensation, you are to receive the first payment of US$10,000.00 daily which you're expecting to pickup the sum of US$10,000.00 until the total sum of your compensation fund of amount the sum of USD$1,700,000.00 only (One Million seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollars)
only is being transferred to you directly through this medium or rather to your designated bank account at once.
BELOW IS THE MTCN AND TRACKING WEBSITE TO ENABLE YOU TRACK YOUR FIRST PROGRAMMED APPROVED PAYMENT. PLEASE DO CLICK THIS WEBSITE UNDER TO START TRACKING YOUR PAYMENT ONLINE. Do this by contacting the person in charge of your last 3 digits to be completed. It can not be released online here due to some security reasons.
Tracking # (MTCN):7777131???
Email Dr Hills Iwu, asking him to give you the last 3 digits for your compensation. You will have to pay him for the security fee of $150usd only before he give you this.
Do email him on ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
Once again ask him to give you name and address of the agent through whom you will send this official fee of $150usd only.
Amount Programmed To Pickup: US$10,000.00
Accept my congratulations
Prof. Hassan Kenessen