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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Joe Williams" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 23 Aug 2009 09:02:28 -0700
Subject: Business Proposal...
I am Mr. Joe Williams The Fund Manager of Fidelity Investment International.The World Largest Fund Management Company with over 100 Billion British Pounds Capital Investment Fund..
Neverthless,as The Fidelity Fund Manager, I handle all our Investor's Direct Capital Funds and secretly extracted 1.2% Excess Maximum Return Capital Profit (EMRCP) per annum on each of the Investor's Marginal Capital Fund.As an expert,I have made over 100, 745, 000, 00 British Pounds from the Investor's EMRCP and hereby looking for someone to trust who will stand as an Investor to receive the fund as Annual Investment Proceeds from Fidelity Marginal Capital Fund.
All confirmable documents to back up the claims will be made available to you prior to your acceptance.Meanwhile,I have worked out the modalities and technincalities whereby the funds can be claimed in any of our 6 Clearing Houses without any hitches..Our sharing ratio will be 50-50.Reach me by return mail if you are interested in this proposal so that I will give you relevant details.
Fidelity Investments International