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. )
- "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)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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: Mr Robert Erik <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2023 02:15:06 -0700
Subject: FUND TRANSFER OF $3.800,000.00 USD
FOREIGN OPERATION MANAGER MONEY GRAM INT'L.
OFFICE REPUBLIC OF BENIN
LOCATION. RUE BPH141 KINGSTON AVENUE BENIN.
TEL:+ +229 59875099
APRIL DATE: 08/04 /2023
MONEY GRAM MONEY TRANSFER COTONOU BENIN REPUBLIC SEND MONEY WORLDWIDE: +229 59875099
FUND TRANSFER OF $3.800,000.00 USD
THIS IS TO NOTIFY YOU THAT WE ARE NOT DOING CASH ON TRANSFER ( C. O .D ) .WHAT YOU NEED TO DO NOW IN ORDER TO START RECEIVING YOUR FUND AS ARRANGED IS TO GO AHEAD TODAY AND SEND US THE REQUIRE FEE OF $49 US DOLLARS TO ENABLE US COMMENCE ON YOUR PAYMENT SO THAT YOU WILL HAVE ACCESS TO PICK YOUR INHERITANCE FUND IMMEDIATELY FOR ALL THE INFORMATION YOU NEED TO PICK UP YOUR $5.000 USD WAS IN THIS MAIL BUT YOU CANNOT HAVE ACCESS OVER THE FUND TILL YOU SEND US THE $49.
NOTE THAT THE MOMENT YOU SEND US THE $49 FEE YOU WILL ALSO RECEIVE YOUR $5.000 USD SAME DAY .IF YOU SEND THE FEE TODAY YOU WILL ALSO RECEIVE YOUR $5.000 TODAY TOO DEPENDING HOW FASTER YOU ARE SEND THE FEE.
GO THROUGH THIS MAIL CAREFUL L AND FOLLOW OUR INSTRUCTION IMMEDIATELY AS WE ARE SHORTLY WAITING TO HEAR FROM YOU TODAY WITH THE PAYMENT INFO FOR THE REQUIRE FEE OF $49 USD.
WE ARE INSTRUCTED BY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA TO TRANSFER YOUR FUND TO YOU VIA OUR SERVICE (MONEY GRAM MONEY TRANSFER) SO YOU WILL BE RECEIVING $5,000.00 USD DAILY UNTIL IT COMPLETE THE CORRECT AMOUNT OF ($5.500,000.00 USD).
MEANWHILE YOU ARE REQUIRE TO SEND US THE TRANSFER CHARGES WHICH IS $49 USD FOR THE $5,000.00 THAT WE HAVE ALREADY REMIT TO YOUR NAME BECAUSE WITH OUT THAT YOU CAN NOT PICK THE MONEY FOR IT IS ON HOLD.
NOTE: THE REASON WHY WE NEED YOU TO SEND US THE $49 USD IS THAT WE TRIED TO DEDUCT THE TRANSFERRING FEE OUT FROM YOUR FUND BUT THE MINISTER ADMINISTRATOR TRUST FUND OF REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA TOLD US THAT NO ONE HAS ACCESS OVER YOUR FUND AS IT HAVE BEEN SIGNED AND STAMPED THAT NO MONEY SHOULD BE DEDUCTED UNTIL IT GETS TO YOU TO AVOID ANY MISUNDERSTANDING BECAUSE IF ANY ONE HAS ACCESS TO THAT IT WILL INVOLVE YOU LOOSING YOUR FUND, NO ONE HAS TO BE TRUST EVEN YOUR MOTHER OR YOUR FATHER.
HERE IS THE INFORMATION OF THE ONE WE SENT TODAY TO YOU BUT IT WILL REMAIN ON HOLD UNTIL YOU SEND US OUR TRANSFER CHARGES AND RENEW OF YOUR FILE OF $49 BEFORE WE CAN RELEASES IT TO YOU SO YOU CAN TRACK IT WITH OUR,
FINELY UPDATE US WITH THE $49 USD TO ENABLE US PROCEED ON YOUR PAYMENT IMMEDIATELY, BELOW IS THE INFORMATION YOU WILL USE TO REMIT THE $49 USD VIA MONEY GRAM MONEY TRANSFER BEEN OUR TRANSFERRING CHARGE FOR YOUR $5,000.00 USD.
SEND THE $49 USD WITH THIS INFORMATION STATED BELOW THROUGH ANY MONEY GRAM MONEY AROUND YOU TODAY TO QUICKEN THE PROCESS SO THAT YOUR FIRST PAYMENT OF $5.000 WILL BE RELEASE TO YOU TODAY TOO.
PLEASE USE MONEY GRAM MONEY TRANSFER FOR THE PAYMENT AS SOON AS YOU GET THIS MESSAGE.
1.RECEIVER NAME:........ LUCAS UGO
2.ADDRESS:............ COTONOU, BENIN REPUBLIC
3 COUNTRY CODE............00229
6.AMOUNT:.................... .....$49, USD.
This is your information to pick up your first payment after you send the fee of $49.00 usd ....
The money is ready to be picked up from a MoneyGram location.
Reference #: 57014540.
Senders Name.Peter Oba
SO TRY ALL YOU BEST TO SEND THE $49 TODAY SO THAT WE WILL RECEIVE YOUR $5.000.00USD TO YOU TODAY OKAY WE ARE WAIT TO HEAR FROM YOU SOON OKAY.ONCE YOU SEND THE MONEY YOU MAIL ME OR YOU CALL ME ON THIS +229 59875099
This office is not liable for any action as shall be taken when the recipient has read and understood the instruction contained herein and has failed to respond via e-mail or direct phone call +229 59875099, for the period of three (3) working days.
Finally, I want to stress some facts clearly concerning some reports about people using our Logo and adulteration of my Name Robert Erik and this company to extort money from people claiming to have some transactions. To tackle this incidence I have resorted to giving a code to any person that has transaction with us to avoid the occurrence of such situation. Any e-mail receive concerning this transaction without this code ( MGR ) should be regarded and treated as a scam and it is not from this office. And I shall be grateful if you can call on this +229 94879503 , your urgent alert for this is highly appreciated. Thank you.
URGENT RESPOND NEEDED FROM YOU.
THANKS FOR YOUR PATRONAGE,
HONORABLE Mr Robert Erik
TELL +229 59875099
FOREIGN OPERATION MANAGER