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"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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Fraud email example:

From: "FREE LOTTO" <>
Date: Tue, 06 Sep 2005 10:27:52 +0000

Award Notification.
We are pleased to inform you of the announcement today
06/09/05 of your selection as one of the five winners of the
promotional Free Lotto Sweepstakes held recently as part of
our EXPERIMENTAL BONANZA. You have therefore been approved
for a lump sum pay out of 1,400,000.000USD.(One Million Four
Hundred Thousand Dollars.)
We in the Free Lottery Sweepstakes is by this
program, Launching our model computer balloting lottery
draws, developed and designed to satisfy the cravings of the
ever-growing number of participants in our various lottery programs.
With funds accrued exclusively from previous
draws, payouts to all winners are guaranteed and will be
transferred in record time.
After randomly selecting 15,000 participants from an initial
database of 300,000 emails, all participants were selected
through a computer ballot system from the Middle East, Asia,
Africa, Canada, Europe, USA and South America as part our
international Promotions Program, which was conducted in
view of launching ourselves into the Sweepstakes Industry
Worldwide and zoning all participants by their respective
continents from across the globe, we produced an extensive
list from which you have emerged as one of the winners of
the Grand Draw prize.
You are to contact our agents by email or fax within a week
of receiving this notice. Please find full contact details
Mr.Fodkar Salim
External service manager,
Free lotto sweepstakes
United Kingdom
In order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications,
please remember to quote your reference and batch numbers in
every one of your correspondences with your claims agent
Ref No: REF NO: MELI-T/ 17-F044262312
Batch No:901/00319/HLP
Zonal Draw No: GMLA2-003
Grand Draw No: 12099
Congratulations once again.
The Promotions Manager,
The Lotto People
PO Box 42
United Kingdom
We also encourage you to visit our website at and take your chance to play and
become part of our daily winners. Millions are won on
a daily basis on one of the world's most famous free
lotto service

Anti-fraud resources: