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:
- "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. )
- "mtcn" (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. )
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found 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 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: "Dr. James Brown" <"www."@car.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Dr. James Brown" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 3 Nov 2017 09:28:25 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Attn: Valuable Customer:
MONEY GRAM PHILADELPHIA PARKING AUTHORITY
Address:701 Market St #5400, Philadelphia, PA 19106, United
Hours: Text or call (978)449-4411:
Open today Â· 8:30AMâ5PM
Attn: Valuable Customer:
I am contacting you because I've sent you the first payment
of $5,000 today from your total sum of $12.5.000.000.00 USD
as a result overdue contract/Inheritance Funds/Compensation
Funds and your Lottery Winning funds so far.Therefore you
need to Contact MONEY GRAM Managing Director Dr.James Brown:
for hem to give you the transfer payment information
Managing Director:Dr.James Brown:
And contact he with your full information.
1. Full Name:
2. Full Address:
4. Phone Number:
7. Date of Bath:
Please try to contact hem today for he to forward the
payment information to you, remember to indicate the
registration code of EB-2237 to he when E-mailing or
calling hem, also he will be sending you $5,000.00 daily as
per our office discussion with hem.
Do get in touch with me once you have received the
Please copy this email(email@example.com)
and paste before replying to
he or simply call her at this number:(978)449-4411: Or you
SMS hem on He number:
We waiting your urgent kind respond for the proceed of the
transfer of your fund to you immediately.
IMF MANAGING DIRECTOR
IMF MANAGING DIRECTOR.