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:
- 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. )
- "i am using this medium to " (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Robert Ben" <"www."@carrot.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Mr. Robert Ben" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 24 Nov 2017 22:30:33 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Attention: My Dear
Attention: My Dear
FROM MONEY GRAM
Call here Cell Phone; (864) 729-5587. immediately you receive this email.Information reaching us from our corporate headquarters now,states that you only have 48hours to effect payment for the activation of your MTCN to enable you cash up your first $5000 USD from your total (fund) because the federal government has released some amount of U.S.D to settle the people which they have scam before.but before catching up your first found you have to activate you MTCN..and activate your MTCN upon receipt of this payment. Here is the payment for the $5000:USD with the first name... anakpulu... Last name... Chidi, Money Reference Number Ref # ( 86935137 ) of our Assistant Accountant officer, I'm the Money Gram agent CONTACT ON ;(864) 729-5587
ATTACH ANY OF YOUR I.D CARD OR DRIVERS LICENSE
Be informed that you will have to pay the balance sum of your activation upon cashing up of your first $5000 USD, also I am using this medium to inform you that failure to pay the balance sum will leave us with no option but to deactivate your MTCN of which you will and can never cash up the balance.Your total amount of your fund is $4.2million USD.
choose any amount that u can be able to pay on amount listed $250usd,$3500usd $500usd.
Agent name Mr, Robert Ben.
Cell Phone; (864) 729-5587