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:
- 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. )
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Mr Mark duse <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Mr Mark duse <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 21:50:38 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: FROM MONEYGRAM OFFICE BENIN REPUBLIC
Â Attn My Dear
This email is to all the people that have been scammed in any part of world, the United Nation have agreed to compensate them with the sum of US$2.5m (Two Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) This includes all foreign contractors that may have not received their contract and sum people that have had an unfinished transaction orinternational business that failed due to scammed victim.
This is to inform you that your $2.5M USD will be send to you via Money Gram transfer. The total amount mentioned above is with Money Gram, Note you will be receiving $6,000.00 every day until your total money have been completely transfer to you.Call Mr. James Okafor: Tel: +229 680 920 55 now and ask him to give you REFERENCE NUMBER and every other information you need to pick up your $6,000 today. Here is what he may require from you.
YourÂ Â Receiver Name.
Feel free to contact Money Gram transfer with this information bellow Email ( firstname.lastname@example.org) You are advised to contact Mr.James Okafor: of Money Gram transfer Benin Republic as he is our representative in Benin Republic, contact him immediately for your compensation payment of $2.5m he will send it to you immediately.
We have concluded our effect to your payment through Money Gram transfer $6000.00 daily until the ($2.5m) is completely transferred.So you advice to contact our Agent office in Benin with bellow information.
Money Gram Agent;Â Â Mr. James Okafor
Email;( email@example.com )
Tel: +229 680 920 55
Mr Mark duse