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:
- "because it still remains the fastest medium of communication" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "i feel quite safe dealing with you in this important business" (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: Samuel Morse <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 10 Jul 2010 17:33:21 -0500
Subject: RE:CAN YOU BE TRUSTED
The Desk Of,
Mr. Samuel Morse
Fidelity International, UK .
I feel quite safe dealing with you in this important business.Though, this
medium (Internet) has been greatly abused, I choose to reach you through it
because it still remains the fastest medium of communication.
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 with
i decided to write to you when I saw your contact information in a directory.
However, this correspondence is unofficial and private, and it should
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
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 or traced.
Mr. Samuel Morse