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.Maureen Garr" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Mrs.Maureen Garr" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 30 Jul 2015 10:33:03 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Hello My Dear,
Hello My Dear,
How are you today? Hope all is well with you. I am writing to inform you that the reason why you did not receive your $3.5M USD for a while is that we lost your contact and it was on Friday morning last week that we found your payment form in our office and from there we got your email address to reach you now. After the last meeting held with the Federal Ministry of Finance concerning this matter, The Finance Minister gave order to transfer your fund through Money Gram money transfer $5000.00 2 times per day that means you will be receiving $10,000.00 each day until your payment is over.
Take note your payment file disk will be activate with your information
before you can be able to start receiving your payment.
reconfirm to him your information correctly
Your Full Name,
house or office Address
Your ID card
your phone number
Now, the fund was handed over to the Money Gram Office this morning to start transferring your fund immediately with immediate effect. Note that you will be receiving $10,000.00 each day and first payment of $5000.00 will come to you in the morning by 9:30 am while the last payment of the day will come to
you at 5: pm in evening.
the information to contact Money Gram office and you are advised to contact them immediately you receive this email and also reconfirm your information to them to enable them to release the necessary information for you to receive your fund without making any mistake on it.
Mr. Godwin M.Johnson.
phone number +229 994 670 86
Regards Mrs.Maureen Garr