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:
- 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:
- "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. )
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: western union office transfer <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 7 Oct 2022 23:50:31 -0700
Subject: Here is the information; MTCN #:121-593-2549 track it now
your first payment $ 5,000.00 Sent to your name today and Here is the
information; MTCN #:121-593-2549 track it now
with this link.ttps://www.westernunion.com/us/en/self-service/app/ track
transfer I told him to keep on sending you $ 5,000.00 daily until the
payment of($ 1,200,000.00usd dollars) is completed transfer to you,
your first payment of $5,000 Refunded back do to clean bill record
certificate which will cost you a sum of $195
contact us only if you're interested to start receiving
your daily payment
your payment information
MTCN #: 121-593-2549
Sender: Jeremiah Uche
Amount: $ 5,000
Your full details are needed?
Names Your contact address
Your personal telephone number
Your Date of birth
One Passport photographs or any of your valid Identity
Contact our office Phone call Number:
Thanks and hope to read from you soon,