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:
- "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. )
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "federal republic of benin" (Benin, Cameroon, etc. are no Federal Republics, unlike Nigeria where this type of scam was invented)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- MoneyGram money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. Along with Western Union it is a 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.
- +22998275158 (Benin, probably a prepaid mobile phone)
Fraud email example:
From: Barrspeter Chukwu <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Aug 2009 18:35:36 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: FUND APPROVAL AUTHORIZATION.
Attn legal Beneficiary;
This is to inform you that we have arranged your payment of ($800,000.00) Eight Thousand united state dollars in atm payment card on behalf of the Federal Republic of Benin Government, Under the co-operation of the new civilian Head of State, President DR BONI YAYI and the Governor of Central Bank Of Benin,Mr Philippe-Henri Dacoury-Tabley held a meeting last week concerning your payment, about your Inheritance funds.you are listed and approved for this payments to be sent to you through Money Gram money transfer Office.
Your payment will be sending to you by money Gram, the amount you will receive per day is $6500 The minister trust funds of Benin Republic will send you the currently standards track details you need to pick up your ($6,500.00) payment by Money Gram, you will receive every day till you receive the $800,000.00, now no need to send you this atm card because you cannot get the atm card due to the atm master card contain large money on it.
The director administrator trust funds have already signed your payment,kindly contact the below person who is in position to release your payment by Money Gram per $6,500.00usd a day.
Contact Person--Rev Dr Nelson Michael +229-98-27-51-58, Money Gram Transfer E-mail: ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) The financial Money Gram payment center 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 your payment. Note that the administrator payment need this details from you to process your payment:
Your. Test question--------------
Comply with Rev Dr Nelson Michael now because as soon as you sent this required details to him he will start sending your payment by Money Gram.
Barrister Peter Chukwu.