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:
- 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 state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "federal republic of benin" (Benin, Cameroon, etc. are no Federal Republics, unlike Nigeria where this type of scam was invented)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Richard Mazo" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2016 15:15:12 +0800
Subject: CONTACT MONEY GRAM
We are here to notify you that after the meeting held this morning on 18th August 2016.His Exelence the President Of Federal Republic Of Benin Dr Patrick Talon. has Instructed this Department to send your funds through Money Gram Remmitting Office Transfer World Wide,for easier receive of your inherinted funds without any further delay.To avoid paying money to the fraud stars that is going on through the World because was unable to received your money through Money Gram due to the Management.For your information we have arranged your payment of ($2.5 millions) Two millions five hundred thousand united state dollars,to be sent to you through Money Gram Transfer Payment.Your payment will be sending to you by Money Gram,The amount you will be receiving per a day is 7.000.00USD The minister trust funds of Benin Republic will send you the currently standards track details you need to pick up your (7.000.00USD) payment by Money Gram,you will receive every day till you receive the $2.5 Mill
ions united state dollars
DR. KEVIN MORGAN,
Money Gram Remmitting Officer
Transfer World Wide.
Financial Bank Benin Republic,
The financial Money Gram Payment center has been mandated to issue out your payment and you have to stop any further communication with any other person(s) or office(s) to avoid any hitches in receiving your payment Therefore the only fee you have to pay them is $89.00 Only usd that they will use to renewing of your file,So be advice to contact them immediately you get this email because every thing has been done ok.And for your information once again note: That this is not one of those Nigerian/African scams that all they are after is to ripe you off your money and at the end you wil not receive your funds, but note that this is not a scam and is directly from the Management of Money Gram Payment Transfer United Kingdom Head Office and there Motto is To Serve You Better.
Comply now because as soon as you sent this required details to DR. KEVIN MORGAN, will start sending your payment by Money Gram Payment Transfer.