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:
- 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:
- ",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)
- "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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "LOAN OFFER" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 2014 15:39:20 +0200
Subject: DO YOU NEED A LOAN?
We are a private Lending company, we also give out investment Loans,
payday loans, car loans,
student loans, company loans and personal loans at 3% interest rate,
we know that to get a Loan from the bank is difficult and expensive to pay back and you will never get a Loan for less than 12% interest rate from a Bank or a public lending firm and that is why we have taken it upon ourselves in this Company to give out Loans without any hassle and at a low interest rate.
we give out loans raging from $50,000 to $200,000,000.00 United States Dollars and we have our offices in United kingdom, Ireland and South Africa, please feel free to send a message to my personal email address so that we can do business and i assure you that you won't regret doing business with us and remember it takes money and Courage to make profit.
my email address is: email@example.com