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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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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:

Fraud email example:

From: Ernesto bonino <>
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2006 10:57:40 GMT
Subject: YOU WON

Dear Eligible Winner,

Congratulations on your Prize.

On behalf of the Prize Disbursement Center , we are pleased to inform you that you have just won through your email address a Grand Prize of One Million United States Dollars ($1,000,000.00) in the Pianeta Lotto draw. Please take the time to review it and note the terms and conditions, and the date of expiration.

As authorized payment agents, we are required by law to disburse the first round award of US $1,000,000.00(One Million United States Dollars) to the correct recipient, but we must verify that you have the first round claim number and being that an email address is not an accepted signature of identification, your personal details must be registered to the claim information before we can payout the prize.

Pianeta Lotto has awarded over Seventy-Five Million in US dollars to hundreds of thousands of fortunate recipients in 41 countries. Pianeta Lotto, a sponsor of online sweepstakes, gives away prizes in amounts of up to One Million US dollars monthly.

Your Provisional Claim Code: JNH/IX-08MD2/06 in conjunction with your email address, is yours and yours alone, and has not been issued to any other person. You must act before the deadline date, 15th November 2006 or your claim will be declared void.

Upon submission of a winning entry in accordance with the rules (terms and conditions of claiming) of Pianeta Lotto, it assures you that using your Provisional Claim Code: JNH/IX-08MD2/06 only you will be paid $1 Million dollars.

To view the Pianeta Lotto Claim Rules click here:
You must review the official rules (terms and conditions) and agree before responding. After reading the terms and conditions, contact the claim department to file for your claim under Provisional Claim Code: JNH/IX-08MD2/06.

Claim department.

With the following information:


You are to quote your Provisional Claim Code when responding. Note that untimely response may result in forfeiture.

Once again, congratulations from Pianeta Lotto.
Prize Disbursement Center.

Notice: If you wish to be taken out of the claimants list reply to this mail with the words remove. If you are not the intended recipient, you must not, directly or indirectly, use, disclose, distribute, print or copy any part of this message. If you believe you have received this message in error, please delete it and all copies of it from your system and notify the sender immediately by reply e-mail. Thank you.

Anti-fraud resources: