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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "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!)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Oxford Finance Service" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2011 23:48:41 -0400
Subject: Apply For Loan At 3%
Good day to you.
I am Mr. Nelson Raymond a private registered Loan lender,
I give out loans to business people and individuals
at low interest rate. I offer personal loan,debt consolidation
loan, venture capital, business loan, student loan, home
loan or loan for any legitimate reason.
Here are some questions. Are you having difficulties in
obtaining a loan from hard lenders or banks because of
their high loan fees/requirements? Are you having financial
distress or you want to fulfill that dream of yours with
Do you need a prosperous new year for your family, if yes
then worry no more for Oxford Finance Service have come to put a
smile on your face by offering you the loan you need at
a 3% interest rate.
Contact us with the information below if you are interested
in this loan and email us at email@example.com
I will commence with the processing of your loan as soon as I receive
this information from you.
There is more happiness to gain in getting a loan from us, so do contact
us immediately and we will respond to you within 20-30minutes time.
Mr. Nelson Raymond
Oxford Finance Service.