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. )
- "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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Ikem Silvia <"WWW."@pure.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: Mrs Ikem Silvia <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 21 Jan 2017 06:58:05 +0900 (JST)
Subject: MONEY GRAM OFFICE,
This e-mail is to inform you that we the International Bank for Reconstruction & Development (IBRD World Bank) had meeting with the United Nations & Benin Republic Government representative regarding the payment of your long awaited fund and we had an agreement with them that the remittance of your fund should be carried out through MONEY GRAM OFFICE,
You have been approved to be paid One Million five hundred United States Dollars ($1.500.000.00 U.S.D) only. Your fund of One Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars has been forwarded to Money Gram Payment Center for immediate transfer to you.Your payment will be sent to you by Money Gram,the amount you will receive per day is $4,000usd (Four thousand Dollars Per Day )The Director Money Gram Payment Center of Benin Republic will send you the current standards track details you need to pick up your $4,000 payment by Money Gram,
You will receive every day till you receive the $1.500.000.00 United State Dollars,through this Money Gram which is safe and reliable with less cost.
The Director Money Gram Payment Center has already signed your payment,now you are free to comply with Money Gram payment office.
Director//:Engr. Nicholas Aneke
USA Office// +1 (720) 522-9743 Text Only
The 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.
Note that the Director payment needs these details from you to process your payment:
(1) Receivers Full Names.......
(4) Txt Question..............
(5) Txt Answer..............
(6) Mobile Phone..............
(8) Your Valid Email.............
Comply now because as soon as you sent this required details to Egnr.Nicholas he will start sending your payment by Money Gram.And do let me know immediately you start receiving your money for us to share the joy together.
Mrs Ikem Silvia
Secretary of publicity for and on behalf:
IBRD World Bank
Cotonouâ Benin Republic.
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