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:
- "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. )
- ",500,000" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "MR. Charles White" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "MR. Charles White" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 6 May 2015 20:08:08 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Attention: Email Owner.
Attention: Email Owner,
The IMF describes itself as âan organization of 188 countries, working to foster economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.
The organization's stated objectives are to better the lives of citizens internationally or locally to meet your needs.
IMF in conjunction with MoneyGram are giving out funds as part of commitment to reward loyalty, MoneyGram a product of the relationship between The International Monetary
Fund(IMF) and MoneyGram International leveraging on 12 years of robust relationship with its esteemed customers all over the world by introducing an anniversary package, which enables every customer to
win valuable prizes.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organization that was initiated in 1944 at the Bretton Woods Conference and
formally created in 1945 by 29 member countries. Countries contribute money to a pool through a quota system from which citizens with low finance can get a chance to win funds. Through this activity you can be a millionaire and can also be able to cater for your needs and the needs of your family.
The International Monetary Fund(IMF) is compensation you with the sum of $ 2,500,000 USD
However, we have concluded to afford your payment through MoneyGramÂ®, $6,000 twice daily until the total sum of $ 2,500,000 USD is completely transferred to you.
Please get back to us with the below:
Receiver's name:.......Â Â Â
Attached copy of your Identification.......
Note that your payment files will be returned to the IMF within 72 hours if we do not hear from you, this was the instruction given to us by the IMF.
We will start the
transfer as soon as we received your information. For urgent inquiry, Call +229 68970405
MR. Charles White