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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "western union" (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. )
- "money gram" (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. )
- ",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)
- "u.k " (this email uses bad English)
- "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.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "CLARK LOAN" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2012 17:00:00 +0530
Subject: CLARK LOAN INVESTMENT LIMITED
(CLARK LOAN INVESTMENT LIMITED)
My name is Mr . Mark Devison Wilcox
The Managing Director of Clark Loans Investment Limited.
World Wide (INDIAN AND U.K).
A private investor we give out secured guarantee loans to Business Men and Women who are into
Business Transaction, Automobile purchase, House purchase, Loan and other personal loans E.T.C.
We give out long and short term loans, at the lowest rate of 1% interest rate, in this you can as well tell us the amount you needed, so that we will send to you our terms and condition, that is if you are really interested in getting loan from us. Loans are given out from our location. In India / U.K.
We give out, loans minimum of $5,000.00 USD.to $50,000,000 Million USD maximum.
Office Number in U.K (+ 44-701-005-9037 )
Office Number in Indian (+91-783-829-7520)
OUR PACKAGES INCLUDE
We also render Collateral and Non-Collateral Loans for Your Business Startup. If you are interested,
Fill out the application details below so that we can start the processing of your loan sum.
"Full Name of Applicant;-_________________________
"Country of Resident;-__________________________
"Age/Date of Birth;-____________________________
"Amount Needed as Loan;-______________________
"Loan Duration (in years);-_______________________
"Purpose for Loan:-_____________________________
"House Phone: No;-_____________________________
"Cell Phone: No;-_______________________________
"Have you applied for a loan before;-________________?
In acknowledgment to these details, we will also send you our well calculated Terms and Conditions, which will include the agreement. Further, be informed that we will also need an identification which will bear either a Driver's License or your working identity card.
Mode of Payment:
*We pay by Western Union
*We pay by Money Gram
*We also transfer by bank to bank on line wire transfer
*We also pay by bank certified check
*We also deliver by (courier) Hand to Hand Delivery
Mr Mark Devison Wilcox (CEO)
CLARK LOAN INVESTMENT LIMITED