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. )
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Barr James Keita <"www."@spice.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: Barr James Keita <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2017 00:22:45 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Good News From MONEY GRAM.////
FOREIGN OPERATION MANAGER PAYMENT OFFICE MONEY GRAM MONEY TRANSFER . BRANCH OFFICE ADDRESS: 1045 AZOWE St COTONOU BENIN REPUBLIC.HEAD OFFICE ADDRESS: 1823 W Main St, Louisville, OH 44641, United
States Hours: Open today Â· 8:00 am â 6:00 pm.
Attention Needed !!!
Good day my Dear beneficiary.
The new government of Benin Republic (N.G.B.R) in collaboration with USA international monetary fund(I.M.F) have decided to compensate all the 2016/2017 scam victims and your email address was found in the scam victims list.The Money GramÂ®office has been mandated by the new government of Benin Republic(N.G.B.R) to transfer your compensation fund to you through Money GramÂ® Money Transfer.
However you will be receiving $7000 USD pay Day until the total sum of $4.5m Usd is completely transferred to you. But, We can not be able to send the payment with your email address alone, we are here by needed your information to where we will be sending the funds. You Can email us via email.
Your full receivers name..............
Age and marital status......................
Id card OR Driver license.............
We have signed with DR Fredrick Mann, the full assurance of completing the whole transaction in our custody before June 30th. For your information, that you are required to send out the sum of $55 USD charge of renewing your payment file and once after the re-new has been completed.
we will SMS TEXT/EMAIL to you the sender information and together with your available
Reference numbers so you can use to pick up your $7000 usd in any Money Gram payment center in your city/location until you have received your total $4.5m Usd .
Contact MONEY GRAM OFFICE
DR Fredrick Mann
Contact Email: email@example.com
Telephone : +229 61361240
Federal Reserve Bank-MONEY Gram PMT Office-
#2420 Prospect Avenue Cotonou Du Benin-Republic.
Here below the payment informations of the renewal of your file payment below;
RECEIVERS NAME:............. CHINEDU NWASA
COUNTRY:................... BENIN REPUBLIC
TEST QUESTION:............ GOOD
AMOUNT NEEDED IS: $55 USD ONLY
Note that your payment files will be returned to the IMF within 72 hours if we did not hear from you because this was the instruction given to us by the IMF office in Louisville Ohio USA. We will start the transfer as soon as we received your information. You are hereby warned not to communicate or
duplicate this message for any reason what so ever because the US FBI is already on trace of the criminals from Africa.
Your urgent reply is need as soon as you receive this message.
2017-Money gram Bonanza payment cunsultant:Center.
Barr, James Keita
Foreign Operation Barrister .