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:
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: Fbijohn Bill <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2021 16:34:42 -0800
Subject: Dear Customer
IMF MANAGING DIRECTOR KENYA REPUBLIC
I am contacting you because I've sent you the first payment of $ 5,000
this morning from your winning funds total amount of $ 4.5Million USD,
Therefore you need to contact the Western Union agent MR Jerry Smith
and ask him to give you all the transfer payment information and MTCN.
Agent: MR Jerry Smith
Please try and contact him today and ask him to furnish you with the
payment information, Remember to Indicate the registration code of
EB-2520 to him when E-mailing or calling him, Also he will be sending
you $ 5,000.00 daily as per our office discussion with him.fill in the
below details for confirmation. Here is the M.T.C.N(0106823457) for
you to comfirm if there is payment Available.
You're Age / sex__
Direct phone number__
Your home phone number__
Do get in touch with me once you have received the money.
Please click reply and send him the details,
simply call him at his number:+1(253-442-2846)
MR Kristalina Georgieva
IMF MANAGING DIRECTOR KENYA REPUBLIC