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. )
- "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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- 5. email address:......................email@example.com 6. sex:................................male 7. (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "WesternUnion-MoneyTransfer " <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2019 13:00:39 +0530
Subject: Payment Notification !
The Money Has Been Sent Through Western Union ,
This is to inform you that the America Embassy has instructed and mandated us to release the compensation funds of $2,800,000.00 U.S Dollars to all SCAM VICTIMS, contract payments and lottery winners in our records, and your email was found as one of the VICTIMS by the America security leading team and Americaâs representative officers. So that you will be receiving the sum of $5,000.00 dollars per day.
However be informed that we have already sent the first payment of $5,000.00 dollars in your name this morning and the remaining balance is $2,795,000.00. You have only six hours to Call# +91-959-923-4288 upon the receipt of this email. starting from today the maximum amount you will be receiving per day is $5,000.00 only. Moreover, the sent $5,000.00 is on-hold because of the instruction from US Embassyâs Delegates. They asked us to place it on hold in other to take a little time to fulfill all necessary obligation to avoid any hitch while sending you the payment through Western Union money transfer. The necessary obligations is to obtain the Clean Bill Record Certificate (CBRC).
Below is the information of today's payment though you may not be able to track it in our website http://www.westernunion.com because the obligation of obtaining the CBRC has not been met. So, we havenât affected it online for security reasons.
Sender Name:....... Maria Elisabeth Schaeffler
To avoid sending your funds to wrong person, we need the below details to enable us fully activate the payment to your name. The moment we confirm the below information, your first payment will reflect in your country's western union offices for pick up.
1. Your Full Names:....................ATUL KUMAR AWASTHI
2. Postal Address:.....................1/188, SECTOR H, JANKIPURAM, LUCKNOW
3. Phone Number:.......................+918931930941
4. Cell Numbers:.......................+918931930941
5. Email Address:......................email@example.com
8. Occupation: ........................BUSINESSMAN
To get the CBRC will cost $72 only. Do get back me for the receiver information to send the $72.00. Upon receipt of the $72.00, It will only take 2hrs to get the CBRC for proper clearance of your payment.
Furthermore you are advised to call us as the instruction was passed that within 6hours without hearing from you, Consider your payment canceled. Number to call is the below listed managing director's office of the release order Call# +91-959-923-4288.
Mr KpaKpa Bonker,
(Western Union Mgr.)
New Delhi, India.