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:
- 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. )
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: james niss <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2023 15:43:12 +0100
Now we have arranged your payment of ($2.7millions dollars in atm
payment card to be sent to you through western union money transfer
payment: Your payment will sending to you by western union, the amount
you will receive per dayis $5,000
The minister trust funds of Benin Republic will send you the currently
standards track details you need to pick up your (5,000) payment by
western union, you will receive every day till you receive the
$2.7millions united state dollars, 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 administrtor trust funds have already signed your
payment, now you are free to comply with wemaco payment office on this
email: (Western2202021@outlook.com) however, kindly contact the below
person who is in position to release your payment by western union per
$5,000 a day.
Mr James William
western union department
Financial Bank Benin,
CALL US NOW Mobile: +229 98789714
The financial western union payment canter 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
Note that the administrator payment need this details from you to
process your payment:
Comply now because as soon as you sent this required details to Mr
James William he will start sending your payment by western union