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 friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "transfer into your account" (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)
- "loan agreement" (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 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: "JOHANNES E. GERARD" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 04:07:39 -0800
PRUDENTIAL FINANCIAL SERVICES LIMITED
LAURENCE POUNTNEY HILL LONDON EC4R 0HH U.K.
U.K. Company No. 02042953
EMAIL Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are financial facilitators accredited to leading providers of private debt, mezzanine loan and equity securities to middle-market companies worldwide. Our company is capable of providing funds on loan basis until maximum US$900 Million for projects-funding and capital expansion of legitimate business activities. We arrange private money loans for Raw Land, Joint Venture/ Equity Funding, Green projects, Bridge Loans, Industrial Properties and more. Our Loans and leased Instruments can be obtained at minimal expense to the borrower compared to other banking options. We are working only in providing funds on loan basis, for which we receive returns in the form of interests (3% yearly) after each financial year, for 10 years. We are not interested in the management of the business. Our terms and Conditions are reasonable.
It is important that you read through the attached documents and fill as appropriate to enable our Legal Department finalize the Loan Agreement (LA) between our company (Prudential Financial Services 'PFS') and yourself/ company which we shall both sign as binding contractual agreement between the two parties. The Funds will be remitted to you, via Swift Transfer into your account, after the simple processes are completed in accordance with our operations guidelines. We are ready to provide enough Loan Funds in your favour to enable you finance your business projects.
Let us know the total amount you need for the project, and we shall facilitate provision of the Loan in your favour.
Once we receive the filled / signed Form from you, the PFS Executive Board of Directors will expedite actions to actualize smooth and prompt remittance of the Loan Funds into your own bank account nominate. For expeditious transfer of the Loan Funds in your favour, it is pertinent that you communicate to this Office via email: email@example.com on daily basis.
Expecting your urgent response today.
JOHANNES E. GERARD
Financial Controls Officer; Prudential Financial Services UK.