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.
- 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 state 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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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: Bonds <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 6 Jun 2018 21:12:43 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Attention to you personally:
Attention to you personally:
My dear be informed that you have been awarded Two Million seven Hundred thousand United State Dollars ($2,700, 000, 00)Charity Fund by United Nations (UN)organization has been deposited to Western Union for immediate transfer, The payment will be sent to you instalmentally by western Union, the amount you will receive per each day is $5,000.00 .
Are you ready to pick up this $5,000.00 sent to you today? We have concluded to effect your payment through Western Union Money Transfer, and to send $5,000.00 daily to you until the $2, 700 Million is completely transferred to you.
So you are advice to contact the Western Union office Nairobi Kenya with below information,
Western union Agent:Contact Person: Pastor Mark,
Contact E-mail:( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Contact Phone Number +254738094587
Western Union Department Nairobi Kenya (East Africa)
Pastor Mark, sent you $5,000.00 in your name today in my present, so contact him and tell him to give you the MTCN, Sender name with the question and answer to pick up the $5,000.00 and then start transferring your total money to you as I directed them. Finally, to avoid anything happening to the money, I deposited it with an insurance coverage
Contact them now with your information as stated below.
Your full name...........
Your Phone number......
Your Country ......