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:
- "your loan " (Beware of fake loan offers. Real lenders would not normally use free webmail addresses such as Yahoo, nor would they lend to individuals or small businesses in a different country from where they are based. Beware of mobile phones or redirector numbers!)
- "email@example.com" (This email address looks like addresses used in fake loan scams. Be suspicious of any lender who uses a free webmail address or who is based in different country from yourself.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Unity International Loans Firm." <email@example.com> (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 8 Jun 2010 11:16:50 -0300 (BRT)
We are a registered and certified lenders, we loan for both business
and personal loans purpose.we give a clear and understandable terms and
conditions. We give loans at low interest rate of 3%. Dear readers
should note that this offer is for serious minded individual, firms and
not let this companies.Do opportunity to pass on. Get your loan to
solve your financial problems and establishing new businesses, the
persons concerned, firms and companies should please contact via e-mail
for more of information.
Loan Terms / Conditions
(1) You must be 18 years or more to get the loan,
(2) You must repay the loan as at the date of expiration.
(3) Your loan will be given you an interest rate of 3%,
(4) You should be honest and straight forward in the loan process,
(5) You must respond to any emails sent to you in connection with the
(6) You must not imply in any form ingenuity in the loan transaction.
(7) The Borrower may lose its operation in case of not getting in
regular contact with the lender through emails and phone calls.
I await your immediate respond quickly and reliably.
OUR CUSTOMERS HAPPINESS is our pride!
Thank you and God bless
Mr Mohammed Azim (C.E.O)