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:
- 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. )
- "cotonou" (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.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: Mark William <"MG."@energy.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: Mark William <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2017 15:10:40 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Good day my dear beneficiary
FOREIGN OPERATION MANAGER PAYMENT OFFICE MONEY GRAM MONEY TRANSFER . BRANCH
OFFICE ADDRESS: 1045 AZOWE St COTONOU BENIN REPUBLIC. HEAD OFFICE HEAD
OFFICE ADDRESS: 1823 N Main St, Albuquerque, OH 44641, United States
Hours: Open today Â· 9:00 am â 9:00 pm OFFICE TEL.
+22963322981 for Call and Text SMS..
Attention Needed !!!
Good day my dear beneficiary.The new government of Benin Republic (N.G.B.R) in
collaboration with USA international monetary fund(I.M.F) have decided to
compensate all the 2014/2015/2016 and 2017 scam victims and your email address was found in the scam victims list.This Money GramÂ®office has been mandated by the
new government of Benin Republic(N.G.B.R) to transfer your compensation to you
through Money GramÂ® Money Transfer.
However, we have concluded to effect your own payment through Money GramÂ®Money
Transfer,you will be receiving $5,000.00 USD pay Day until the total sum of $1.5
Million is completely transferred to you.
But, We can not be able to send the payment with your email address alone, we
are here by needed your information to where we will be sending the funds. You
Can Text us and fill below Information Or email us via email.
(ID copy)............. ....................
Note that your payment files will be returned to the IMF within 72 hours if we did not hear from you because this was the instruction given to us by the IMF office in Louisville Ohio USA. We will start the transfer as soon as we received your information. You are hereby warned not to communicate or duplicate this message for any reason what so ever because the US FBI is already on trace of the criminals from Africa.
Foreign Operation Manager.