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:
- 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. )
- "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. )
- ",500,000" (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)
- "you are advise to" (this email uses bad English)
- 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 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.
- 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: MRS JOY DEMIS <"weeg."@grace.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: MRS JOY DEMIS <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 27 Jan 2018 02:53:16 +0900 (JST)
Subject: ARE YOU READY TO PICK UP YOUR FUND $7000 DOLLAR?
Attention,Dear OWNER Email
Our Money Gram Head Office wish to inform you that United Nation and the (IMF OFFICE) have instructed us to send you the sum of $4,500,000 million USD.from your winning fund $7000 dollar has already been sent to you as first collection of which you will be recovering every day until the total amount is completely transfer to you
This is the final notice you are going to receive from this office,do you get me?I hope you understand how many times this message has been sent to you. Sender Information$B!G(Bs to BELOW:E-mail: (firstname.lastname@example.org) This is mail you reply to?
HERE IS THE Available Reference for pick up by receiver BELOW:
Sender name==Nekwe Brown
Contacting Money Gram Head Office for the 1 Digit number to pick up the needed $7000,Which have been sent to you today. So please act fast by sending your information below for the pickup of your $7000 without delay.E-mail: (email@example.com) This is mail you reply to?Call REV TONY MIKE +22962067151 immediately you get this mail to enable him speed up your ( 1digit number) Reference to pick up $7000dollar and you are advise to send your information to releasing your $7000 usd immediately: E-mail : (( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Name: REV TONY MIKE
HERE IS THE INFORMATION YOU WILL USE TO SEND THE FEE TODAY
As result of the information we got I told them to wait until I hear from you today to know if you are still interested to receive this fund lets release your full Reference Number of your $7000 dollar installment once we confirm your address as soon as you receive this message. So if you are interested on your fund response for your Payment Contact Agent.
MRS JOY DEMIS
ARE YOU READY TO PICK UP YOUR FUND $7000 DOLLAR?