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:
- "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. )
- 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.
- 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: "Mrs. Stephanie Larry" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 16 Aug 2021 04:43:49 -0700
Subject: CONTACT MR.HENRY MURPHY FOR YOUR MONEY GRAM PAYMENT
WE THE MONEY GRAM REMITTING OFFICE WE LET YOU TO KNOW THAT WE HAVE
SENT YOUR FULL COMPENSATION PAYMENT OF $3.5M USD, TO YOU THROUGH MONEY
GRAM, YOU WILL BE RECEIVING $5000 PER DAY, NOW WE HAVE SEND THE FIRST
PAYMENT TO YOU,
WELL BASED ON MY AGREEMENT
WITH MONEY GRAM DIRECTOR, Mr.Henry Murphy
YOUR TRANSFER WILL START
IMMEDIATELY YOU CONTACT
HIM WITH ALL YOUR INFORMATION AS FOLLOW
YOUR HOME ADDRESS_______
DIRECT PHONE NUMBER_______
NOTE;THAT THE ONLY FEE YOU HAVE TO SEND IS TRANSFERRING FEE
WHICH WILL ONLY COST YOU $100USD.SO RESPOND TO MR.HENRY MURPHY
FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS.
MONEY GRAM OFFICE:
CONTACT PERSON: Mr.Henry Murphy
PHONE NO +229 64851592
YOUR FUNDS AMOUNT DEPOSITED IS US$3.5million
Mrs. Stephanie Larry