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:
- "my names are " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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.)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Affordable & Easy Loan" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 15 Sep 2012 06:23:36 -0400
Subject: Loan Offer!!!
My names are Mark Wright,I am a certified loan lender.I offer secured and
unsecured loans to individuals and companies at low interest rate.I offer long
and short term loans.My firm has recorded a lot of breakthroughs in the
provision of first class financial services to our clients especially in the
area of Loan syndication and capital provision for individuals and companies.
In general we offer mortgages,home loans,car loans,hotel loans,commecial
loans, construction loans, startup- working capital loans,business loans and
bad credit loans, e.t.c, at .3% interest rate.
We are a group of energetic and experienced loan professionals with thorough
knowledge of financial markets. We have many partners in real estate, banking
and technology fields that can assist obtain financing. Almost all of our
business are through referrals by satisfied and repeat customers.
As the leading provider of Commercial, Business and personal loans to
individuals and corporations nationwide, we offer the right kind of financing
in less amount of time it will take with traditional lenders.
Your Fax Number
Current Status at place of work
Your marital status
You can contact us at
Mr Mark Wright
MARK WRIGHT LOAN FIRM