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:
- 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 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.
- 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: JONATHAN ANDERSON <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2023 13:22:43 -0700
Subject: CONTACT WESTERN UNION AGENT FOR YOUR FIRST PAYMENT 2023 DONT DELAY
BEFORE YOU CONTACT OFFICE F WESTERN UNION FOR YOUR $7.7,000.000.00 AND FIRST PAYMENT
We have concluded to affect your payment $7.7,000.000.00 thousand
western union today, but the maximum amount you will be receiving each
day starting from tomorrow and next is $45,000.00 SEVEN time daily
until the funds is
Western union Agent: TEL: +234 9065 184681 contact E-mail:(
email@example.com ) Though, AGENT JONATHAN ANDERSON $45,000.00
made in your name today so
Contact JONATHAN ANDERSON and tell him to give you the mtcn, sender
name and question/answer to pick the $45,000.00 and he will tell you
what you should do
and if you do what he ask you to do your first payment will be release
immediately and Pls let me know as soon as you received all your funds
7.7,000.000.00. MTCN : 787766 ---#### Tell him to give you the
remaining 4 digits, and Sender's Name: after you do what the western
union Agent JONATHAN ANDERSON ask you to do.
Send to him your full contact information such as:
Your Phone number and whatsapp number ;======
ID OR PASSPORT ;======
Text Question :How Long, Answer: Immediately, Amountâs $45,000.00
Best Regards Mr.DADA TONY both whatsapp +234 9065 184681