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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: "alpha" <>
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2007 08:37:22 GMT

Dear Halag Thal,

This office acknowledges the receipt of your email. Attached is claim
application form, kindly fill in all requirements in the form and send it back
to this office by fax or by email with a copy of your international passport or
driving license for identification. This will enable this office to
process/legalize your winning certificate, thereafter a copy of your winning
certificate will be forwarded to the office of our paying bank for immediate
remittance of your winning price to a bank account of your choice.
Congratulations once again.


Mark Dennis
This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended
solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.
If you have received this email in error please notify the system manager.

Anti-fraud resources: