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:
- "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.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr, Jack Don" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2022 00:22:36 +0100
Subject: Attention URGENT RESPONSE
Attention URGENT RESPONSE
Following the instruction to pay all scam victims $9.6 Million each by
the UNITED NATIONS and IMF through Money gram transfer service, we
wish to inform you that your email address was one of the lucky ones
to receive this prize. You will be receiving $5000 daily until the
whole amount is completely transferred to you, today we have already
sent you $5000, but
to make sure that there is no mistake; the reference information
cannot be forwarded now until you confirm the following:
3. Cell Phone_________
The above information should b also include this transaction
secret code: MGX678G. Note: Your file will expire after 3 days if
there is no response, then we will not have any option than to return
your fund to IMF as unclaimed.Your swift response will enhance our
service, thanks for your co-operation
Money gram global money transfer service
CALL OR TEXT ME AT +1-281 456 3323