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:
- "western union" (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. )
- "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.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: (sent from abused email account)
Date: Sat, 7 Aug 2021 01:50:02 -0000
Subject: Call Or Text For More Details (680) 435-0253
Money Gram Money Transfer Worldwide
Payment Order File. MG/2020/2021
We are here to inform you about our final
conclusion to commence your compensation
payment through Money Gram Transfer at
maximum of $5,000 daily until your
$1.5 Million USD is completely transferred
to you accordingly.
I'm the accountant officer Mr. Robert Ibe
and have been resigned as the Director of
supervision on your 2020 year auditing
program and has signed your installment
payment with first $5,000 transfer in your
name today and need you to contact us back
on email or call below phone number with
your Valid ID, mobile phone number to verify
your name with Ref: 54460297 and post your
first $5,000 transfer available for pickup
in your city within 5mins.
Contact the cashier incharge of your payment
with the below details.
Name: Mrs. Sandra Jones
Phone; (680) 435-0253
So hasten up and give the agent a call to
process your payment at once. Ask him for
the Ref sender name to pick up your first
payment of $5,000.Once again congratulations.
Thanks for your patient and cooperation.
We give you best of our services
Mr. Robert Ibe
Director of supervision,
2021 Auditing Program
Money Gram Money Transfer Worldwide
I received your information to make your transfer this morning here
and please without time wasting below is the requested information to
send the amount $100 so that we can proceed with the transfer as soon
Make sure you call as soon as you have the money gram or western union
payment control numbers call or text the payment information
Receivers Name, Amaru Ben
Country Benin Republic
Receivers Phone +22999061684
Mr. Robert Ibe