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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "million british pounds" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- 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.
- +448719182603 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Martin McCourt" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2012 16:43:21 -0000
Subject: Business Co-operation
I am Mr.Martin MCcourt, The Funds Manager of Fidelity Investment
International. The World Largest Fund Management Company with over £1.2
Trillion Capital Investment Fund, Nevertheless, 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
£25 Million British Pounds from the Investor's
EMRCP and here by 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 and information
to back up the claims will be made available to you prior
to your Acceptance.
Meanwhile, I have worked out the modalities and technicalities where by
the funds can be claimed in any of our 6 Clearing Houses without any
hitches. Our sharing ratio will be 60% for me and 40% for you.If you are
interested, please send the following details.
(1) Your full name.
(2) Phone, Fax and Mobile #.
(3) Company name, Position and Contact Address.
(4) Profession, Age and Marital Status
So we can proceed immediately and discuss more on phone as regard the
transaction. Reply to email@example.com or Fax: +44-8719182603
Funds Managerof Fidelity Investment UK