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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "loan amount" (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!)
- "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.)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Bally James" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 07:27:28 -0300
Subject: Loan Offer @ 2% Rate
Top Of The Day. Have you ever been turn down by bank,or your friends
when you seek loan on there hands we are here to inform you we offer
different kinds of loan,we offer mortgage loans we offer secured and
unsecured loans to individuals,school and companies at low interest
rate of 2% respectively.We offer long and short term loans.Our firm
has recorded a lot of breakthroughs,we give out loan in dollar and
pounds minimum $5,000USD maximum of $5,000,000 USD,your loan is 100%
assured and secured by this very Firm.If interested contact us at
firstname.lastname@example.org with this information listed below
Address----,Age---,Sex---,Marital status---,Employed or not---,Job
Title---,Monthly income----,Valid phone number----,Loan Amount
Needed---,Duration---,Purpose of the loan----
You are to send to me the following details of yours so we can proceed
with your loan request.
This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.