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. )
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "lagos" (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: "Mr. Ozekwe Tyreece" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 2017 03:23:03 -0800
Subject: Your Money Gram Money Transfer
There is an issue with the Money Gram Money Transfer in the amount of ($4.5Mus) Four Million Five Hindered Thousand United State Dollars to the beneficiary directed in cash credited to file KTU/926775/03, at the owner of this email address. The International Monetary Fund contacted us for your Inheritance fund a couple of hours ago due to your allocated security code.
We are unable to complete a transfer directed at an email address, so we require some more information in order to complete this transfer with our money gram department. Here are the informationâs needed for you to fill out:
1. Full Name:
2. Full Address:
8. Tel .Number:
In order to resolve this problem, please email via Money Gram Solicitors Fund Verification Department:
INTERCONTINENTAL BANK PLC MONEY GRAM OPERATION DEPARTMENT.14/17 TH MOTALLA MOHAMEDI ROAD
Below is their contact
Contact Person: Mr. Bobby Brown Money Gram Payment Center Nigeria,
As soon as this information is received, our Money Gram Money Transfer Department will release the first payment of $2,000.00us (two Thousand United State Dollars) Transfer Reference Number to you, complied over the cost of Inheritance file to enable our money gram replace your name on the first payment. Only charge in receiving of this first payment is the cost of obtaining the inheritance file, contact our money gram Mr. Bobby Brown, he will direct best on how to get the needed Inheritance file.
When emailing, please use the (Reference number 250-33) for our mutual convenience. Please make sure you ask for the working ID card of your contact Agent before further communication with Him. Remember that once the Inheritance files issue you will start receiving your daily payment per $2,000.00us till the total ($4.5Mus) Four Million Five Hindered Thousand United State Dollars transfer to your name
Mr. Ozekwe Tyreece
(Note: If You Have Received This Email Before You Are Advised To Ignore This Message
The information contained in this communication from the sender is confidential.
It is intended solely for use by the recipient and others authorized to receive it.
If you are not the recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying,
distribution or taking action in relation of the contents of this information is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful.
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