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:
- "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.
- 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: "Walter Santos" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 19 Jun 2010 11:31:08 +0100
Subject: $50,000.00 Guarantee Loan !
I want to bring to your notice that 50,000.00 loan was approved to you yesterday and I was mandated to notify you of the approval. I want to inform you of the terms and condition of the loan.1. You must follow every of my directives to ensure the successful completion of your transaction.(2)for the fact that we have decided to grant you a guarantee loan, it is my obligation to make sure that the funds are being use with the intended purpose as explained to us and is also our obligation to make sure that your transaction will be successful completed so that you will be able to pay back the loan with the agreed interest, your going to pay back the loan with 3% interest of any amount loaned to you, at the end of your transaction.
(Our method of loan payment)
(1) We transfer money in to your zero balance credit card account.
(2) We will transfer money in to your equity account,
(3) We make use of bank to bank wire transfer
Upon your acceptance to the terms and conditions, I hereby request for the following information to enable us start the processing of the loan. Your full name and address (not p.o.box) but physical address. Your direct phone and fax number if any. The bank details of any of the three options including bank name, phone and fax number if any.
We are look forward to your swift response.Please always send your detail via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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