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. )
- "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. )
- "transferred into your bank account" (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)
- "deadline" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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: "FBI Director Christopher Asher Wray" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2018 11:32:51 -0300
Subject: FBI-Washington Field Office 601 Street, NW Washington,
FBI Director Christopher Asher Wray
IIIAnti-Terrorist and Monetary Crimes Division Fbi Headquarters In
Washington, D.C. Federal Bureau Of Investigation.
FBI-Washington Field Office 601 Street, NW Washington, DC 20535
Website: www.fbi.gov Email (firstname.lastname@example.org )
Am writing to make you understand that this is FBI Director Christopher
Asher Wray i head has been informed about your refusal to comply with the
directives from the FBI and we are going ahead with the arrest by today
and tomorrow.We monitored your contact with this co-men through our global
tracking device that detect all the incoming and outgoing e-mails and tele
phone calls globally from all the countries of the world, We have your
e-mail address under our monitoring device set-up any more e-mails to the
fraudsters from you will be automatically detected.Our concern in this
issue is for your name to be cleared from the scammers list which has
already been submitted to all the crimes agencies in Benin, Germany,Canada
,London and United States Of America, We make sure that the laws are
followed to the core and this is why the Benin Government which its
citizen carried out the fraudulent activities with your information's
which you sent to them have to compensate you with the amount as regards
the FBI Laws of Sub-Section 05/16 Of the United Nations Anti-crimes
laws.We have in our file your details which you sent to them and we have
checked and found out that you are a honest and hard working person and by
this regards we decided to persuade the Benin Government to compensate you
for the evil deeds that was carried out with your name.
The German man knows that you are the person because he was duped with
your identity and this fraudulent activities was carried out by the same
people who you have been forwarding your information's/details to all this
while with the pretense of dealing with the right offices in Africa and
other countries of the world.You will have to get the CLEARANCE FORM from
the office of the High Court of Justice in Nigeria at the sum of $200 Usd.
This certificate will enable you to get access to the compensation funds
of $1,Million Usd which was offered to you by the Nigeria Government and
don't forget that you need to get the document within 3days from now as
you already know the deadline given to you to secure the document.If not
for the fact that we checked your data before acting towards this
directives given to us, you would have been arrested by now and jailed
because of your association with criminals in the internet and don't
forget our warnings to you.The German business man who was duped with your
identity has reported this case to the world court and it will involve the
Government of both countries which are Germany and Yours and that is the
reason why you must get this document immediately so as to avoid anybody
calling your name as being among the fraudsters.With the Certificate, you
are free from any form of crimes as your data shows that you are a honest
and respectable person in the society, You will have to send the fees to
the High Court of Justice over there in Nigeria within 3days from now so
that our local agent can be able to apply our modalities with the High
Court of Justice to issue the CLEARANCE FORM to you.
Send the fees of $200 through moneygram Money Transfer with the name of
the account officer in High Court of Justice.
Receivers Name:David Williams
Text Question: How Long
Text Answer: Immediately
Amount: $200 Usd.
As soon as you send the fees, you will have to get back to us with the
following details which are Senders Name and Address, MTCN Number, Text
Question and Answer Used and the amount Sent.Then,when all this
requirements are in place, the Certificate will be issued to you and then
the compensation funds of $1,Million Usd will be transferred into your
bank account immediately.To avoid the wrath of the law on you and your
entire family, we have been pleased to allow you secure the document from
the High Court of Justice Nigeria so that your name will be cleared off
the fraudulent list in Nigeria and we also argued with the Nigeria
Government about your compensations and that was the reason why you were
compensated with the sum of $1, million usd
Thanks as I wait for your response
FBI Director Christopher Asher Wray
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