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. )
- "million united state dollars" (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)
- "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.
- 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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: CHIMMA JOHN <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2011 18:26:08 +0900 (KST)
Subject: CALL +22998678910 FOR YOUR MONEY GRAM PAYMENT
This is to notify you that after the meeting held on 16th of feb 2011. His Excellence the PRESIDENT OF FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF BENIN DR YAYI BONI. Has instructed this Department to send your funds through money gram transfer for easier receive of your inherited funds without any further delay.to avoid paying money to the fraud stars that is going on through the WORLD .
Now we have arranged your payment of ($4.850 million United State dollars ) in Money Gram, to be sent to you through money gram transfer payment: Your payment will sending to you by money gram the amount you will receive per day is $7,000,The minister trust funds of Benin Republic will send you the currently standards track details you need to pick up your ($7,000) payment by money gram you will receive every day till you receive the $4.850 million United State dollars .
The direct administrator trust funds have already signed your payment, now you are free to comply with the Maco payment office on this email:(firstname.lastname@example.org)
contact person Hon David Williams
,Mobile: phone +229-98678910.
Meanwhile note: That this is not one of those Nigerian/African scams that all they are after is to ripe you off your money and at the end you will not receive your funds, but note that this is no scam and is directly from the Management of money gram Transfer United Kingdom Head Office and our Motto is To Serve You Better.So send us your details information from you to process your payment:
Comply now because as soon as you sent this required details to Mr.Godwin Onuoha he will start sending your payment by Money Gram Regards to you and your family ,Thanks and be
Mr.Godwin Onuoha ,