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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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!)
- 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.
- +448713155856 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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: "Mr.Miller Thompson" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2010 23:30:20 -0600 (CST)
From The Desk Of The Executive Director,
Our Ref: 0010/M.F.I
MOTTO: We put an end to your financial worries.
3b Olympic Way, Sefton Business Park,
Aintree, Liverpool , L30 1RD
Are you in need of loan? have you tried all the financial institution
you know and they have turned you down, do you need need financial aid
to boost your business, MillerThompsonFinance Investment (Loan Lender)
as part of its welfare package is offering a floating loan scheme at 3%
interest rate without any collateral security. This is to aid individuals
achieve their financial objectives. Our aims and ultimate is to assist our
clients by rendering financial service and our innovative approach to problem
solving financially has been our goal.
We are certified To Offer The Following Kinds Of Loan
*LINE OF CREDIT
You are to contact via E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
to commence your loan processing of transfer to you immediately.
Please, provide us with the following:
First Name:_________________________ _
Last Name:_________________________ __
Date of Birth:________________________
Amount Needed as Loan:________________
Loan Duration:_____________________ __
Purpose for Loan:_____________________
I await your swift response so that we can proceed further with your loan
processing of transfer to you as soon as urgent.
MillerThompsonFinance Investment (WORLDWIDE PRIVATE LENDER.