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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million united states dollars" (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)
- ",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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Richard Best" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 2 Aug 2017 15:50:04 -0700
Subject: Feed Us Back With Your Details Below.
From the Desk of Mr. Richard Best,
The Foreign Operations Manager of Fidelity
Worldwide Investment (FWI), United States of America.
To Your Attention:
On behalf of the board and management of Fidelity Worldwide Investment (FWI) United States of America. I am Mr. Richard Best, the Foreign Operations Manager of Fidelity Worldwide Investment wishes to inform you that your long awaiting Contract Funds of Ten Million United States Dollars (US$10,000,000.00) have been registered into Two Metallic Boxes Tagged Diplomatic Luggage 557 with Ref: No 1377/X75/207/2017 which was deposited in our vault for safe keeping is due for immediate collection.
This is to inform you that Fidelity Worldwide Investment is the World Largest Fund Management Company with over USD$300 Billion Capital Investment Fund. Be informed that we the Fidelity Worldwide Investment have concluded all arrangements to delivery your two Metallic Boxes to your door-step through diplomatic means. In line with the binding diplomatic Metallic Box delivery policies, kindly furnish us with the following below.
(1). Full Name:
(2). Delivery Address:
(3). Telephone Number:
(7). Marital Status:
(8). Company's Name:
(9). Driver's License OR Passport:
(10). Nearest Airport close to you:
Meanwhile, we urge you to treat the above requirement with utmost urgency to enable us dispense our duties and obligation accordingly thereby allowing us to serve you in a timely fashion. Upon satisfactory receipt of all the above mentioned, you will be further acquainted with the detailed of your Two Metallic Boxes delivery within Twenty Four Hours (24Hours).
Mr. Richard Best
The Foreign Operations Manager of Fidelity Worldwide Investment (FWI)
United States of America.