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:
- "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. )
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: Mr Kevin Devid <www.@sunny.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: Mr Kevin Devid <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2018 21:25:02 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Dear valued customer,
Dear valued customer,
We have sent the $5.000.00 out of your total compensation sum of
$850.000.00 from money gram head office in USA. All we need
from you now is just your long time lost information such as your
3,Your Phone Number------
5,your home address-----
Here is the reference number of your first payment,
Sender First Name:.....Daniel
Sender Second Name;.....FLEMING
You can verify the reference number in any money gram office near you
or by tracking it on our website with this link,
(https://secure.moneygram.com/ track). Just fill the reference number
The status now shows Available for pick up by receiver because this
amount has been on the system for security reasons, since I did not
get any reply message from you after sending you several notices with
the transaction details to enable you pick up your Reference number
Now, you are strongly advised for the last time to go on today