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:
- 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. )
- 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: Google PROMO <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2019 23:29:37 +0100
I'm Abdul, from Kwara state Nigeria based in Kumasi Ghana, tell all
your fellow guymen i have a sharp webmail that bombs emails to inbox,
no limit per day, it lasts full 2 weeks, i sell freshly updated email
addresses, old facebook logins, free SMS bombing tools, old clients
that paid their catchers and no limit inbox SMTP's, i have receiver
names for moneygram, Mozambique and Kenya mpesa accounts, Ghana mobile
money account and bank accounts for Mozambique and Kenya pickup.
I can blast 1 million freshly updated email addresses with your format
and reply to box with $60, you will be getting tons of good replies
daily for several weeks.
Chat me on whatsapp via +233272190458 let's discuss more.