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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "account opening" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- 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.
- +447035902231 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "NatWest Bank" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2011 07:22:32 -0700
Subject: LOAN & PROJECT FINANCING NOW AVAILABLE
We provide varieties of financial services: personal financial services;
project and investment loans;commercial banking; credit
enhancements,corporate and debt instruments such as; Bank
Guarantees(BGs),Medium Terms Notes(MTNs),Standby Letter of
Credits(SBLCs),SKRs,Project Finance and Funding. We also provide HYIP,
PPP & Offshore Bank account opening services.
We also offer all kinds of loan and can finance projects in developed and
developing nations. We offer these services to foster and enhance the
growth of your daily business activities. At the main stream of our
services, we provide all kind of banking instrument,soft loan,micro-credit
finance loan,mortgage loan,construction loan,agricultural loan.
Feel free to contact us today for your financial help. We are willing to
help you out on either business or personal loans. Offers are available
and at affordable interest rate of 5%.
89, Mount Pleasant Rd
Kent TN1 1QJ