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. )
- 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 mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Alexis Jerry" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 07 Oct 2020 13:31:39 +0000
Subject: CALL +234 8086074989 TO PICK UP YOUR FIRST PAYMENT!!
This is to inform you that the America Embassy office the Federal
Republic of Nigeria was instructed us to transfer your fund totaled
$2.5 million U.S Dollars compensating all the SCAM VICTIMS and your
email was found as one of the VICTIMS by the America security leading
team and Americaâs representative officers here in Nigeria.
You will be receiving the sum of $6,000.00 dollars per day. However be
informed that we have already sent the $6,000.00 dollars this morning
to avoid cancellation of your payment, remaining the total sum of $2.5
Note!!! You have only six hours to Call# us on +234 8086074989 for the
collection of your first western union reference
number of $6,000.
Be informed that the already sent $6,000.00 is on-held because of the
instruction from US Embassyâs Delegates, they asked us to place it on
hold by requesting the Transfer Charge of $155 in order to fulfill all
necessary obligation to avoid any hitches while sending you the
payment through Western Union money transfer, the necessary obligation
I mean here is to obtain the (Clean Bill Record Certificate).
We need the below details from you, to enable us fully activate the
payment to your name for it to reflect in your country's western union
branch office, and to update our file records:
1. Your Full Names:....................
2. Postal Address:.....................
3. Phone Number:.......................
5. Alternative Email Address:......................
9. Country and State:........................
Furthermore, you are advised to call us as the instruction was passed
that within 6hours without hearing from you, Consider your payment
canceled. The number to call is the below listed managing director's
office of the release order Call#: +234 8086074989, Email them via
Mr. Alexis Jerry,
MANAGER OF WESTERN UNION**Direct online Telephone