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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: okafor celestineprosper <>
Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2007 22:01:28 +0100 (BST)
Subject: BE MY PENPAL!!

Good day,
with warm heart I use this opportunity to offer my pen-pal friendship to you.However,Iam bro okafor celestine prosper,a christian,single youngman black in complexion, 1.68m tall, residing in abidjan ivory coast.Finally I am looking forward to receiving your reply. thank and GOD bless you exceedingly.
yours affectionately,
okafor celestine prosper.

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Anti-fraud resources: