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:
- "loan amount" (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.
- 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 (Outblaze.com, Hong Kong; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- marc vandhorne chief investment officer copy:firstname.lastname@example.org charles mayer (swissifg) (Accountant; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Marc Vandhorne" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2017 15:59:16 -0000
Subject: UBS FINANCE GROUP AG/PROSPECTB2B
UBS FINANCE GROUP AG
Swiss Finance Group
SWISS FINANCE GROUP in partnership with Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS)
inform you of the establishment of a large-scale
loan program for businesses and individuals with an annual fixed rate 2%,
the amounts granted are between 300,000 euros minimum and 250 million euros maximum.
To apply please complete the information below:
Last name and first names:
Duration of the loan:
Trade register number:
Phone / Mobile / Fax:
This information should be forwarded by email to our legal counsel for a feasibility study
20 Cursitor Street London EC4A 1LT
T: +44 (0) 20 3318 8518
Mr. Marc Vandhorne
Chief Investment Officer
CHarles Mayer (SWISSIFG)