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:
- "loan applicant" (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.
- 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.
- +447031986552 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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: "Hawks Financial Group" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2014 09:34:53 +0100
Subject: LOAN OFFER
Hawks Financial Group.
16 Churchhill Way, Cardiff,
South Glamorgan, CF10 2DX
We are a private financial company base in Europe; We offer funds for investments across the world. We have funded and invested in businesses and given personal, Multi-purpose loans to individuals and groups. We have transform DREAMS into REALITIES.
We the Hawks Financial Group assist you in old/new projects and offer your valuable tools loan using our BG/Monetization Program, please send more details about your company to provide you our procedure.
As a result to financial matters related to loan issuance to expected applicant, you and I know that it is not always easy to find the right loan company and the competent loan applicant. We communicate to you upon receiving your readiness to follow our legal requirements, here is our E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Shah Lak
CEO Hawks Financial Group
This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus protection is active.