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:
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- "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 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: "WESTERN UNION OFFICE" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 1 May 2019 01:47:56 -0700
Subject: WESTERN UNION COMPENSATION FUND!
Western Union Company
12500 E Belford Ave PO Box 6036
Englewood, CO 80112
This is to bring to your notice that Money transfer giant Western Union has agreed to pay $586 million in connection with its failure to prevent criminals from moving ill-gotten money using its platform, according to federal authorities. Each scam victims are entitled to $1, 200, 000.00(one million two hundred thousand dollars) this was agreed by the board of directors of WESTERN UNION this year.
Western Union admitted to criminal violations including its willful failure to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program and aiding and abetting wire fraud.
Western Union owes a responsibility to American and the world consumers to guard against fraud, so this little token was set aside to compensate all scam victims and does that have lost money in the aid of sending money for business or other personnel issues.
As part of the agreement with authorities, Western Union has agreed to implement stricter policies to prevent future fraud and money laundering. The forfeiture of $586 million will be used to reimburse consumers who were victims of fraud from 2004 to 2019. It is the largest forfeiture that has ever been imposed on a money services business.
You are to contact JPMorgan Chase bank for immediate transfer of your fund to your nominated bank with your details and bank details as stated below.
1) Your full name: _
2) Your full address: _
3) Your telephone: _
3) Your occupation, age and marital status:
4) Any valid form of identification/Driven license#: _
5) Bank name: _
6) Bank address: _
7) Account name: _
8) Account number: _
9) Routing number: _
You are receiving this email because your email address was generated by our system as one of the victim.
Where to send the details to
Mr. Raymond Moore
CEO: Hikmet Ersek