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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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. )
- "fiduciary agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- This email message is a fake lottery scam. Consider the following facts about real lotteries:
- They don't notify winners by email.
- You can't win without first buying a lottery ticket.
- They don't randomly select email addresses to award prizes to.
- They don't use free email accounts (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc) to communicate with you.
- They don't tell you to call a mobile phone number.
- They don't tell you to keep your winnings secret.
- They will never ask a winner to pay any fees to receive a prize!
- 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)
- direct line: +1(424-292-4179) e-mail: office: (email@example.com) --- this email has (Post; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "WESTERN UNIONN OFFICE" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2017 10:38:19 +0100
Subject: WESTERN UNION AWARD NOTIFICATION
WELCOME TO WESTERN UNION AWARD CENTER,
You have been awarded a sum of US$2,950,000,00 by the Western Union 2017 Board Award Group, This award was selected through automated Internet
system drawn randomly across the globe, This was an Email draw promotion which was held in USA/West Africa/Asia/South Africa/and Europe/ The WESTERN UNION BOARD AWARD Group is sponsored by Chevron oil and Gas Company and others from unconventional oil resources and other international companies
Winning expiring date 24th of December , 2017. Your /Approval No; UN5685P/ ODDS Of Winning/258,890,850/
Reference No.-35460021/Certificate of Merit Payment No: 103, Released Code No: 0763/ Ticket No: 190/Batch No: ES / 400/12
Identification No: CIM-2079/ Contact our fiduciary Agent below with your winning number: OL/456/050/006.
Please Contact Director Robert Emerson with the following details for your claims.
Your full name_________________
Your Phone number_____________
Make sure you do not make any mistake with your information to avoid any wrong Claim. Call the Direct Manager with below Number Mobile:+1(229-231-6899), for more details. Or Email Him as Instructed and use this code below as your subject...(WU/AWD221) For Verification. contact The award Online Lotto Agency for Your Claim.
Online Lotto Agency.
Mr Robert Emerson,
Director of winning claim department.
Direct Line: +1(424-292-4179)
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