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:
- "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. )
- "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.
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: OFFICE FILE <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 20 Dec 2021 18:21:51 +0100
Subject: SPECIAL BONUS PAYMENT From Money Gram Money Transfer
SPECIAL BONUS PAYMENT From Money Gram Money Transfer
Send Money Worldwide office Department Of Money Gram
Cotonou Benin Republic
ADDRESS: 1500 Akpakpa Avenue, Cotonou; Benin
MONEY GRAM SPECIAL BONUS PAYMENT, never let this great opportunity to
miss you to loosed your payment $5000 usd,i know it is because of
your past experience
that make you not to believe but I told you earlier just drop your old
experience and follow my instruction right now to receive $5000 usd
fast today without any delay.
This is finally notice we have concluded to releasing your $5000 from
your compensation fund $1.8 Million via Money Gram only the best and
easy way to
start receiving your fund $5000 daily at any nearest Money Gram office
in your country, based on our agreement with Money Gram management
here you have to pay only $78 usd within 1 hours and once we
confirmed the $78 you will pick up your first $5000 within 5 minutes
after sending the $78 and if we do not hear from you within 24hours
we will cancel your name on the payment file and your total of $1,8
million will be return to government.
I am writing this mail to you with tears and sorrow from my heart.With
due respect trust and humanity,i appeal to you to government have a
little patience until i hear from you today,i am here to protecting
your fund $1,8 million not be cancel because i want you to receive
your fund and my assistance
is to bring happiness into your life,because i know the important of
this fund into your life as soon as you receive it.
THIS IS YOUR GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO RECOVER ALL YOU HAVE LOS BEFORE
BACK, SO KINDLY GO AHEAD RIGHT NOW TO SEND THE $78 AND YOU WILL PICK
UP $5000 USD
WITHIN 5 MINUTES AFTER SENDING THE $78, I GUARANTEE YOU 100% ASSURANCE
THAT YOU MUST PICK UP YOUR FIRST $5000 USD WITHIN 5 MINUTES AFTER
SEND $48 SENDING THE $78 WITHOUT ANY DELAY BECAUSE EVERYTHING HAVE
ALREADY MADE DONE TO YOUR NAME, ALSO I ASSURING YOU THAT YOU WILL
NEVER BE DISAPPOINTED AND TAKE NOTE THAT IF WE DO NOT HEAR FROM YOU
TODAY WE WILL CANCEL YOUR NAME ON THE TRANSFER AND DON'T BLAME
ANYBODY HERE IF YOU LOST YOUR PAYMENT OF $1.800,000 MILLION.URGENT TO
PICK UP YOUR $5000 USD IMMEDIATELY
Your first Payment has been sent Reference No Ref=46782184 Noted: this
payment was directed to be made available in your name and you can
not pick it until
you comply with needed fee $78 usd.
THIS IS OUR TRACKING SITE ( https://secure.moneygram.com/track)
TRACKING IT AND CONFIRM THAT $5000 IS SENT ON YOUR BEHALF
Reference No Ref=46782184
Sender name Last Name=NEKWE
Tracking the payment with Sender Last name is available to pick up
$5000 to, show you the,payment is real.
THIS IS MY ADDRESS AKPAKPA COTONOU BENIN REPUBLIC
1.RECEIVER FIRST NAME::::::::::: MIKE OKOYE
1.RECEIVER LAST NAME:::::::::::
3.CITY CODE:::::::::::::: COTONOU.
4.TEXT QUESTION ::::::::::::: SENT
5.TEXT ANSWER ::::::::::::: TODAY
KINDLY RUSH TO MONEY GRAM OFFICE RIGHT NOW TO SEND THE $78USD AND CALL ME ON
THIS LINE AS SOON AS YOU SEND THE MONEY.
CONTACT MANGER MONEY GRAM OFFICE
MR FRANK JAMES
EMAIL ADDRESS:( firstname.lastname@example.org )
DIRECT TELEPHONE CALL: +229-6050523810
MR FRANK JAMES
DON'T ALLOW THIS GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO PASS YOU