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:
- 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. )
- "million us dollars" (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)
- ",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)
- "00,000.00" (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 advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Susan Dansuki" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 29 Aug 2021 02:34:07 -0700
Subject: Re: COVID-19 RELIEF FUND WORTH $1,500,000.00 USD
This is the second time we are notifying you about the statue of your
COVID-19 Relief fund, worth the total sum of $1,500,000.00 USD. Be
inform that We have been authorized by United Nations organization
department for disaster management, in conjunction with IMF, World
Bank, to release your COVID-19 Relief fund, totaling the sum of
US$1,500,000.00 using MoneyGram money transfer service. Note, that
you will be receiving the sum of $5,000.00 daily until the total sum
of $1,5 Million US Dollars is completely transferred to you.
Besides, we have arranged your first payment of US$5,000.00 today,
therefore, you are advice to contact our director of foreign
Remittance (MR.ROBERT TAIWO) and request him to give you the details
of your payment such as MoneyGram money transfer reference number, and
senders name to enable you pick up your first payment of US$5,000.00
at any MoneyGram transfer located around you. Kindly reach him via the
contact information stated below for faster process.
Contact Person: MR.ROBERT TAIWO
Telephone: (+229 965 483 88 ) WhatsApp
REMEMBER TO FORWARD HIM YOUR FULL INFORMATION AS REQUIRED BELOW TO
ENABLE HIM LOCATE YOUR PAYMENT FILE AND ATTEND TO YOU IMMEDIATELY.
1. Your Full Name:
NOTE: that the amount to be paid to you is (USD1.500, 000.00), we
expect your urgent response to this email to enable us monitor the
Mrs. Susan Dansuki.