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:
- "money gram" (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.
- 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: "Mr. Peter Jones" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2013 09:30:01 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: ****SPAM**** SPECIAL BONUS TO HELP OUR CUSTOMERS.
Attention Dear Money Gram Beneficiary.
This mail is coming to you from Money Gram head office in Benin Republic
This is to notify all our customers about the latest development concerning all the payment that are left in our
custody, which yours are inclusive
Besides, you where given a bill of $229,in order to receive your payment of which we did not hear from you for
sometime now....Hence, our Money Gram Office is now offering a Special BONUS to help all our customers
that are having their payment in our custody due to of prices. In order words we are now requesting that those
involve should pay only the sum of $80 to receive all their payment abandoned in our custody.
Besides,my dear, these is the opportunity for you and have to comply and your funds shall be transfer to your
designation without any further delays .But remember that after (4 DAYS) you did not make the payment then
we will divert your funds to Government Fund, to avoid problem or we will cancel the payment for this year
until next year because this year is not like last year ,this is 2013,
Again after (4 DAYS) we will enter a new project for the year and that is the reason why we decided to help to
all our customers before we enter into the new project. So be advise to send the $80.00 immediately so that we
will register your payment and for you to receive your money from us today or tomorrow.
After the payment of $80.00 you will receive your money through Money Gram and the full money is
$5000,000,00. Us Dollars.
You are advised to reply me on this below email address and my contact information's are below as-well.
Contact me with this information's below:
Contact Person :Mr. Peter Jones
Get back to me and I will give you the Information to use in sending the needed fee to us.
The moment I receive the payment of $80.00 i will release your transfer to you.
Mr. Peter Jones
Second Foreign Operation Manager
Money Gram Office Benin Republic.
This is your code of conduct (300)
SPECIAL BONUS TO HELP OUR CUSTOMERS.