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. )
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned 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.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: DR KESH MUHAMMAD <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 25 Dec 2021 02:29:43 +0200
Subject: INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND IS COMPENSATING ALL THE SCAM VICTIM
WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER.
AFRICAN FASTER WAY FOR SENDING
AND RECEIVING MONEY WORLDWIDE:
ADDRESS 445 DEROPKO,AKPAKPA COTONOU,
Welcome to Western Union Head Office and this is to inform you that
usa president Joseph R. Biden has given the final other after
conference meeting held yesterday with the Kristalina
Georgieva.International Monetary Fund (I.M.F) compensating all the
scam victims with $3.700.000.00 USD here in Benin Republic (Three
Million Seven Hundred Thousand Dollar Only and your email address was
found in the scam victim's list. this Western Union head office has
been mandated by the International Monetary Fund (I.M.F) Director to
transfer your compensation fund to you via Western Union Money
Transfer Daily. We the western union office here stated that you will
be receiving your fund $3.700.000.00 at the maximum of $10,000.00
dollar until the whole fund $3.700.000.00 is completely transfer to
It is significant to mention that the United Nation and European Union
is aware of the situation and some funds spent by you while struggle
to receive your entire fund, Owing to this development, The World Bank
Group and IC3 Foreign Debt Reconciliation Panel has resolved to pay
every beneficiaries whichever way in USA and other part of the
countries the sum of US$3,700,000.00 Three Million Seven Hundred
Thousand Dollar Only each. However on verification of the file for
approval, your names with several others was approved to receive the
compensation through Western Union Money Transfer as you can see the
first installment transfer have been initiated and successful for pick
up by you as sole beneficiary.
Remember we needed your full information where your payments of
10,000.00 USD will be deposited to avoid wrong transfer such as,
Your Full Name:............................
Your Home Address:......................
Your Direct Phone Number:..........................
Your ID copy:............................
P.S: You might receive this message in your inbox; spam or junk
folders depending on your web host or server network.
I know this will come to you as a surprise hearing your funds is
available for you to receive now after many years of struggling to
receiving your fund,
Note that your payment files will be returned to the I.M.F within 72
hours if we did not hear from you, this was the instruction given to
us by the IMF.
We also advise that you stop further communications with these
imposters and forward any correspondence /
proposal you receive from them to in other for us to bring justice to
Dr.Kesh Mouhammed those still at large.
( Dr.Kesh Mouhammed )
Direct Whatsapp Number Only +229 9429 5395
direct cellphone number +1 518 594 4886
Western Union Money Transfer Agent Location, EMS Post Office.
Registered No: 1026167. Head Office: 125 Marina Street, Cotonou Benin
Du' Republic of Benin