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. )
- "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 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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- bank contact person: mr. paul henry email: (firstname.lastname@example.org) phone number +22966260034 you can also add us on whats (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Mr Paul Henry <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 6 Aug 2020 10:52:29 +0100
Subject: OFFICE OF THE WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER.
OFFICE OF THE WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER.
Benin REPUBLIC/ADDRESS 473 LEU, DE AKPAKPA ROAD.
Welcome to Western Union
We received the payment of ($950.000 USD) Nine Hundred and Fifth
Thousand united state dollars in ATM card by the Lottery commission to
be sent to you through western union money transfer payment. Be
informed that we are in possession of your ($950.000 USD).
The amount you will be receiving per day is $5,000usd, until you
receive the total sum of ($950.000 USD), Your fund has been insured by
the Lottery commission and is protected with insurance hard cover no
money will be deducted from your fund. Kindly contact us with this
information below for YOUR MTCN, SENDER NAMES, text question and
answer, if you need to pick up the first $5,000 today.
Western Union Financial bank
Contact Person: Mr. Paul Henry
Phone number +22966260034
You can also add us on Whats App with this Number here,Phone number +22966260034
You are here by required to provide the following details.