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. )
- "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.
- 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,Godwin M.Johnson" <"MR.WWW.MG."@crocus.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Mr,Godwin M.Johnson" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2017 09:47:24 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Urgent payment !!
This is Mr,Godwin M.Johnson from MONEY GRAM, Am now responding to your email base on the Instruction being passed through by Federal Ministry of Finance Debt Management Board Note that the total amount you are to be receiving each day fom MONEY GRAM is, $5000 daily and the total amount of your fund is sum of $2.7Million
Have it in mind, there are some obligation in which you need to take care of, you are to pay for the Transfer activation of your fund of $2.7Million and you are to pay the fee to FEDERAL MINISTRY OF JUSTICE which will cost you sum ofÂ $75 USD,
Be inform, no condition will lead us to diduct any amount from the total fund due to the agreement which was reached by the FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE in conjunction with INTERNATIONAL MONITORY FUND AND UNITED NATION AS WELL
So you are highly advice to proceed to the MONEY GRAM and send the sum of $75 which is for the Transfer activation of your total fund, note that the only thing holding us from releasing your first payment now is the amount being needed for the Transfer activation and you are to follow up with the introduction being given to you and to enable you confirm your first payment starting from today
You are to use below information to send the needed amount of $75
Receiver Name ==== EMMA OLUCHI
Country === Benin Republic
City ==== Cotonou
Amount === $75
Do email me back as soon as you receive this email Mr,Godwin M.Johnson From MONEY GRAM Office Benin Republic with the payment information to enable us proceed immediately on the daily transfer okay.