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:
- 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 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Lina Ampoh" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Mrs.Lina Ampoh" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2014 10:14:50 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: The first $5000.00 was sent today
Our accountant agent has helped send the first USD$5000.00 to you
through Money Gram so get back to this office of Money Gram Agent to pick
up this USD $5000 out of the total sum of USD$1.8Million.
Call Dr. Richard Chris immediately you get this E-mail to enable him speed
up for your payment or you send him an e-mail forwarding all the necessary
informationâs required from you so that they will commence on First
Payment with Text Question and Answer/ Sender Name for you to pick up the first
But I will advise that you try and call to facilitate your payment.
we will be sending you $5000 Dollars every day because to transfer the
total money to your account will cost you big money for the transferring
that's why United Nations give us order to be sending you $5000 Dollars every day
and bellow is the information of the first transfer In your name and you are
advised to contact the Money Gram Agent Dr. Richard Chris to give you
the complete Reference Number for the first Installment of usd$5000
because the Reference Number sent to you now is not complete as send
Six digit numbers remaining Two numbers you will collect from Dr. Richard Chris,
once you have made the contact with him, to enable you pick up the payment of USD$5000 today.
But I advise you call Dr. Richard Chris Immediately you receive this
e-mail with +229-98931356 Ask him for the two digit number's of the Reference Number.
SENDER'S FIRST NAME: LINA
SENDERS SECOND NAME: AMPOH
TEXT QUESTION: NOW
PREFENCE NUMBER:Â 790012
AMOUNT SENT: $5,000.00
Contact us on our:
Money Gram Agent: Dr. Richard Chris
E-mail :( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Ask him to give you the Reference Number, sender name, to pick the $5,000.00. I told
him to keep sending you USD$5000.00 daily until the payment of USD$1.8Million
Again forward him
(1) Your Full Name:....
So that he will be sure that you are the right person to start receive
USD$5000 out of the total sum of USD$1.8Million from government office
Call him immediately to give you Question and Answer Contact person.
Dr. Richard Chris