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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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: "Grab George" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2015 09:00:11 -0600
Subject: RE.LOAN OFFER..................................(APPLY)!!!!
Do you require an upgrade in your business financially?
Do You require a personal, mortgage, automobile,business loan?
I am Dr Grab Reiner George based in the United Kingdom.
Do you have a bad credit?
I want to use this medium to notify you that I give out loans to both
private and public organisations at very low and considerable interest
rates with flexible Loan Terms and conditions. The loan offers,the
opportunity of receiving a loan of between $1000 up to $100 Million.
This loan is guaranteed by our financial institution, and thus being
offered to you without security/collateral requirement from you. We do give out
these loans at an extremely low percentage of 2%.
If Interested in securing a loan or you require more information on
this, do contact us for more details, I could be contacted on
I shall respond immediately with all relevant details.
Dr Grab Reiner George