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:
- "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. )
- "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. )
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Foreign Remittance (Bank Of America)" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2013 09:45:49 +0100
Subject: Send the fee $49 only by Money Gram/ Payment Aproval. 20mins Pickup
With all due respect, we receive the email that you sent, we are very sorry
for the email, Your have to understand that your fund is $200.000.00 United
states dollars, Please note that you only have today to make the requested
payment of $49 for your activation of this code: USA25413HBJ & quick pickup
this morning, so that we can get your payment aproval documents without any
further delay again. Please forward us your home address/ direct telephone
number so that we can call you as soon as we process every things by today
without any further delay again. I want you to understand that the fee for
this is $49, to provide you a normal payment aproval slip , and i have been
with the office of the director where they can get the document. Please you
have to send it today so that we can get things done without any further
delay again. Below is the details to send the money by money gram Only.
Receives Name:--------Ifeanyi Chukwu John
Country:--------- Benin Republic
Question:--------- How many Mins?
As soon as you send the fee, try to forward us the payment details today so
that we can proceed without any delay again. Waiting for the mtcn. Please
note that as soon as you can send this fee today, you can go to any of your
nearest bank you chooses for withdrawing. again today is the last day, so
you have to hurryup to make sure that you send this fee today without any
further delay again, Please note that one this fee is sent this morning,
you will be able to pickup your payment today before 20mins.
Waiting to hear from you soon.
All the best
Dr. Eric Lee/ Destiny Mike
Bank of America.