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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Michael Samson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2017 02:34:05 +0100
Subject: Let Us Invest.
Dear Sir, =
I am Michael Samson, The Fund Manager of Fidelity Investment International.=
A fund management company with over US$2,000,000,000.00 (Two Billion Unite=
d States Dollars) capital investment fund. I handle all our investor's dire=
ct capital funds and extracts 1.2% Excess Maximum Return Capital Profit (EM=
RCP) per annum on each of the Investor's Marginal Capital Fund.
As an expert, I have made over US$25,000,000.00 (Twenty-Five Million United=
States Dollars) from the Investor's EMRCP which i want you to stand as an =
Investor to receive the funds as Annual Investment Proceeds from Fidelity M=
arginal Capital Fund for our own partnership business investment in your co=
All confirmable documents to support this Investment Fund will be made avai=
lable to you. Meanwhile, I have worked out the modalities and technicalitie=
s whereby the funds can be claimed in any of our six clearing houses withou=
t any hitches. All I require is your honest co-operation. I guarantee that =
this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement.
If you are interested, I advise you to send your reply via email immediatel=
y to me, in order for me to furnish you with more details of this mutual in=
vestment. I await your urgent and immediate response soonest for us to proc=
eed mutually. =
Yours Sincerely, =
Michael Samson (Mr)
Fidelity Investments International