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:
- 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)
- 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: Donald Richard <"www."@bird.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: Mr Donald Richard <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2017 03:42:44 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Congratulation to You Dear
THE INTERNATIONAL MONEYTARY FUND UNITED STATE.
502 Booth Rd,Warner Robins,GA 31088.
Office Tel:(478)721-6432 Call or Text SMS!!
Congratulation to You Dear
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is compensating some scam victims with $4.5 Million United States dollars and your email address was found in the scam victims list. This Money GramÂ®office has been mandated by the IMF to transfer your compensation Fund to you via MoneyGramÂ®Money Transfer.
However, we have concluded to Transfer your own payment through MoneyGramÂ®Money Transfer. $5,000 USD will be transfer to you daily until the total sum of $4.5 Million United States dollars will be completely transferred to you. We cannot be able to send the payment with your email address alone, we are hereby needed your information where we can be sending the funds. You Can Text or Call us and fill below Information or email us via email.
(Phone Number)....................... ..
(Your Age).......................... ...
(Your Picture)...................... ...
(ID copy)......................... .....
Contact the MoneyGram director with this information:
Name:Mr Donald Richard
Manager Director for MoneyGram ROBINS, GEORGIA.
Office Tel:(478)721-6432 Call or Text SMS!!
NOTE: That your payment files will be returned to the IMF within 72hours if we did not hear from you. this instruction is given to us by the IMF here in GEORGIA, USA. We will start the transfer as soon as we received your information. USA FBI is already on trace of this criminals.