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:
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Samuel Morse" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 1 Oct 2010 04:16:30 -0000 (UTC)
The Desk Of,
Mr. Samuel Morse
Fidelity International, UK .
Do accept my sincere apologies if my mail does not meet your personal
ethics.I knew that this mail will come to you as a surprise, but please do
not be discouraged with my proposal; it was due to how things are moving
However, this correspondence is unofficial and private, and it should be
treated as such. At first I will like to assure you that this transaction
is 100% risk and trouble free to both parties
My name is Mr. Samuel Morse, a Fund Manager with Fidelity Investment, UK.
I handle all our Investors Capital Project Funds which enabled me to
divert 1.2% of Investors Excess Return Capital Funds to our Magellan Trust
Funds Account where anyone can be presented to claim the funds.
Total sum of Fifteen Million, Seven Hundred and Forty Five Thousand
British Pounds (15.745.000)BP has been diverted, representing 1.2% of
Excess Return Capital Funds from the Investor Capital Project Funds for
2006/2007 fiscal year.
I need a reliable and trustworthy person with whom I can work this deal
out so that we can claim the funds as mentioned above.
There is no risk attached and the funds in question can never be dictated
Mr. Samuel Morse