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:
- 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:
- "moneygram" (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. )
- "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. )
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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.
- email@example.com (Superposta; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "MANAGING DIRECTOR" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2012 06:53:53 +0600 (BDT)
Subject: MoneyGram International Inc
MoneyGram International Inc. () 1550 Utica Avenue South,
MS 8020 Minneapolis, MN 55416 HOTLINE : +229 99 92 25 62
OR visit our official website www.moneygram.com
THIS IS TO REMIND YOU ABOUT THE LATEST DEVELOPMENT CONCERNING YOUR PAYMENT
THAT ARE LEFT IN OUR CUSTODY,WHICH YOURS ARE INCLUSIVE NOTE, YOUR WHERE
GIVEN A BIG BILL OF ,IN ORDER TO RECEIVE YOUR PAYMENT OF WHICH WE DIDN'T
HEAR FROM YOU FOR LONG.
MEANWHILE,MONEYGRAM IS NOW GIVEN SPECIAL A BONUS TO HELP ALL OUR CUSTOMERS
THAT ARE HAVING THEIR PAYMENT IN OUR CUSTODY DUE TO HIGH PRICES. IN ORDER
WORDS WE ARE NOW REQUESTING THAT THOSE INVOLVE SHOULD PAY ONLY SUM OF $59
TO RECEIVE ALL THEIR PAYMENT ABANDONED IN OUR CUSTODY.
REMEMBER, THIS IS THE ONLY OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU TO COMPLY AND YOUR FUNDS
SHALL BE TRANSFER TO YOUR DESIGNATED ADDRESS.
BUT REMEMBER THAT AFTER (3 DAYS) SIX DAYS OF DURATION, IF YOU DID NOT MAKE
THE PAYMENT THEN WE WILL DIVERT YOUR FUNDS TO THE GOVERNMENT TREASURE
ACCOUNT, TO AVOID PROBLEM OR WE WILL CANCEL THE PAYMENT FOR THIS SEASON.
SO BE ADVISE TO SEND THE $59 IMMEDIATELY SO THAT WE SHALL REGISTER YOUR
PAYMENT AND YOU WILL START RECEIVING YOUR PAYMENT $8.000 AS FROM TODAY.
BE ADVISE THAT THERE IS NO TIME AGAIN FOR WE TO CALL ANY YOU ON PHONE
UNLESS YOU WILL CALL :+229 99 92 25 62 AFTER MADE THE PAYMENT OF $59 SO
THAT YOU WILL START RECEIVING YOUR MONEY EVERY DAY $8,000 THROUGH
MONEYGRAM UNTIL YOUR FULL PAYMENT OF $1.5M IS COMPLETED TRANSFERRED. DAILY
PAYMENT USED $8.000 ONLY
SEND THE $59 THROUGH MONEYGRAM MONEY TRANSFER WITH BELOW INFORMATION:
RECEIVER NAME......... MR. LAWRENCE UZOR
ADDRESS...........BENIN REPUBLIC.WESTE AFRICA
TEXT QUESTION== HOW
THE MOMENT WE RECEIVE THE PAYMENT OF $59 WE SHALL RELEASE THE FIRST
PAYMENT INFORMATIONS OF $8.000.00 USD ONLY) TO YOU TODAY.
THANKS FOR KIND ATTENTION
©2011- 2012 MoneyGram. All rights reserved.
BEST REGARDS TO YOU
MONEY GRAM DEPARTMENT
DIRECT LINE::+229 99 92 25 62
URGENT RESPOND NEEDE FROM YOU