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. )
- "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)
- "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)
- "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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Ceda Ogada -Secrectary-IMF" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 2021 01:04:28 -0800
Subject: Re: Attention beneficiary-
We have arranged your payment of ($2.500,000.00) Two Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars Previously in ATM payment card to be sent to you through western union money transfer payment. Your payment will sent to you by western union.
The amount you will receive per day is $5,000.00 The minister trust funds and IMF boards of Benin Republic will send you the current standard track details you will need to pick up your ($5,000.00) payment by western union, you will receive every day till you receive the ($2.500,000.00 Usd), now no need to send you this ATM card because you can not be able to withdraw the ATM card due to the atm master card contain large money on it.
The director administrator trust funds has already signed your payment, now you are free to comply with wemaco payment office on this email:( email@example.com ) however, kindly contact the below person who is in position to release your payment by western union per $5,000.00 a day;
MR. FINN HARRISON,
western union department
Telphone: +229 528 072 76
E-mail:( firstname.lastname@example.org )
The financial western union payment center has been mandated to issue out your payment and you have to stop any further communication with any other person(s) or office(s) to avoid any hitches in receiving your payment. Note that the administrator payment need this details from you to process your payment and the only money you will pay is the processing and administration fee which is only $135 usd before you will start receiving your fund;
Comply now because as soon as you send this required details to MR. FINN HARRISON he will start sending your payment by western union money tranfer.
Mr. Ceda Ogada -Secrectary-IMF