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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: From Western Union <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 8 Jul 2022 00:26:52 +0100
Subject: Your first payment of US$5000.00 Dollars
Attention Beneficiary US$2.5 Million USA Dollars,
This is to bring to your notice that my office has taking over all the
money Transaction originated from any part of African/ Europe and Asia
counties etc. as Contract payment, Fund inheritance or Lottery
Winning, Atm Debit cards, henceforth commercial banks, Security
Companies, Atm Credit and Debit Union including any offshore payment
centers are no more authorized to handle release of funds.
I write to inform you that we have already sent your first payment of
US$5000.00 Dollars through Western union as we have been given the
mandate to transfer your payment total sum of US$2.5 Million USA
Dollars, via western union by this government.
I decided to email you the MTCN and sender name so that you will pick
up your US$5000.00 to enable them send another $5000.00 usd today as
you know we will be sending you only $5000.00 USD per day till you
receive the total sum of $2.5 Million USA Dollars, and it was agreed
that you will pay the sum of $75 for the (INHERITANCE CERTIFICATE OF
YOUR FUND) before they will release the payment to you.
Your payment of $5.000 is ready. To check your money enters WESTERN
UNION WEBSITE BELOW:
ENTER your MTCN
Here Is The Senders Information
MTCN: 943 923 1622
Senders Name: Anais Surd
COUNTRY : USA
State : Washington Dc
QUESTION : AMOUNT SENT ?
ANSWER : $5000.
You are hereby advise to send her a message on WhatsApp on this number
+1(253) 224.5322 Director of operation Mrs. Jane, Email :(
firstname.lastname@example.org ) because she is the person in charge for your
payment. Email her today. Note that your $5000 is placed on hold
pending when you send them the $75 Dollars you can pick up your first
payment of $5000 immediately.
(YOU CAN SEND US AN ITUNES CARD, STEAM WALLET, AMAZON OR GOOGLE PLAY CARD)
Mrs. Jane Lucas
Reply to ( email@example.com )