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:
- "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. )
- "million 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)
- "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)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "we advice you" (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.
- 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: officefile <"WWW."@tune.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: officefile <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 28 May 2017 05:22:34 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Dear Customer,
Headquarters UBA House,
MoneyGram Department Service
Carrefour des trois Banques Avenue Pape Jean Paul II, Cotonou, Benin
01 BP. 3045 Ministry Zone
Date: 08, May 2017.
This is to inform you that we can not continue your transaction via wire transfer anymore due to the difficulty in making smooth wire transfer from this country to your personal bank account oversea. Therefore, UBA Bank MoneyGram department will be sending you US$10,000.00 daily Via Money Gram transfer until your total fund worth $2.5 Million United States Dollars is been successfully transferred to you. This will be the easiest way for the transaction to be completed and have you receive your fund successfully without anymore delay from both countries security agency. Therefore, i advice you to forward us the name on your valid ID Card which can allow you to receive money from MoneyGram office or store in your country to enable us process and forward you the first MoneyGram Reference Number information as stated above.
SECOND OPTION: You can choose UBA online banking system if the first option is not accepted. If you don't want to receive the money via MoneyGram daily payment, UBA Bank will setup an online banking account with your information and after the online banking account is setup we will forward you the login information such as the USERNAME & PASSWORD that can allow you login into our online website to view your account balance and also transfer money from the online account to your personal bank account anywhere in the world. Daily transfer limit of Five hundred Thousand United States Dollars per day.
We advice you to choose one option out of the two mentioned. You have to choose either using MoneyGram daily transfer or through online banking system of transfer to enable us know which option to carry out the transaction with.
Below is the information needed to carry out the transaction successfully.
1..Your Full Name:...................
2..Your Home Address:................
3..City & Zip Code:..................
5..Your Cell Phone:..................
7..Scan Copy of Any Valid ID:........
Thanks and we await your urgent response regarding the above mentioned to enable us carry out our duty as instructed.
Mr. David Djossa
UBA Bank MoneyGram