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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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. )
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: MARK EGO OLISE <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 2021 16:06:11 -0800
Subject: International Monetary Fund (IMF)
The International Monetary Fund Annual Compensation from USA.The
International Monetary Fund (IMF) is compensating some scam victims
and your email address was found in the scam victims list. This Westem
UNION office has been mandated by the IMF to transfer your
compensation to you via Western UNION Money Transfer.However, we have
concluded to affect your own payment through Westem UNION Money
Transfer,$5000.00 USD pay day until the total sum of $2.9 Million
United States is completely transferred to you the receiver. We cannot
be able to send the payment with your email address alone, we are
hereby needed your information to where we will be sending the funds.
Here is the information to pick up your first payment of $5000.00 USD
through WESTERN UNION store close to you and once again i want you to
go now and pick it up over there today with the Transfer information
and also your I.D Card okay
Your Reference MTCN number # 3251336455
Programed Amount :$5000.00 USD
(Track the MTCN by.
You Can Text or Call once
you fill below Information
(ID copy)............. ..................
(Your Email Address)...................
NOTE: That your payment files will be returned to the IMF office
within 72hours if we did not hear from you because this was the
instruction given to us by the IMF office here in USA. We will start
the transfer as soon as we received your information. You are hereby
warned not to communicate or duplicate this message for any reason
what so ever because the US FBI is already on trace of the criminals
NOTICE: To text or call this office for any question.
Name: Mr.DAVID Harrison