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:
- 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:
- "with your full names" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- 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.
- 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: ADT Financial Credit Union <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2011 00:29:23 -0400
Subject: To Whom It May Concern.
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN.
We, ADT Financial Services Credit Union offers loan at a very low
interest rate of 3% per year, we offer Personal loans, Debt
Consolidation Loan, Venture Capital, Business Loan, Education Loan,
Home Loan or "Loan for any reason!.
Have you been turned down by your bank? Do you have bad credit? Do you
have unpaid bills? Are you in debt? Do you need to set up a business?
Worry no more as we are here to offer you a low interest loan. Our loan
ranges from R10, 000.00(Ten Thousand South Africa Rand)
to R10, 000,000.00. (Ten Million South Africa Rand).
If you are interested do not hesitate to contact us with your Full
names,contact address, Occupation and your Contact telephone numbers.
Loan Services Controller,
Contact Email: email@example.com,
Direct Tel No:+27785100150