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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "your loan " (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!)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned 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.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: African Development Bank Group <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 3 May 2017 22:54:15 -0700
Subject: Dear Sir/Madam,Loan approved from African Development Bank Group
African Development Bank Group
12C Okoawo Close, Victoria Island,
REF: REQUEST FOR LOAN OF $500,000 DOLLARS
We write to inform you that your loan application for the above sum of money in our bank forwarded to us by your
partner has been approved by headquarters.
Sir,your partner applied for this loan in our bank on your behalf for a quite a long time and since then we have
been waiting for the final approval by our headquarters. Please we are very sorry for the delay in completing the
processing as we had some management reshuffle which let some delays in processing some applications as at that
time. You requested for this loan to enable you complete some unfinished business transactions and pay back
immediately with the agreed interest.
Sir,if you are still interested to get this loan as approved,kindly get back to enable us complete the logistics
and make the transfer into account of your choice. However, we are into investment banking and we are outsourcing
right now.So,if you have a viable project and you can show that you have a capacity to handle such project,our
bank can grant you a much bigger loan or finance such project at an agreeable interest rate.You can call us or send
us text message on the telephone number stated below.
Thank you for your interest in our bank.
Tel: +234 81 2400 50 22