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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:

Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2007 01:08:32 +0000

FROM THE DESK OF THE PRIZE DIRECTORATLANTICSWEEPSTAKES /PRIZEAWARD DEPT No 10 GreenPark Street,xw5 5hb london,England. LOT#::MON876443S/LOT Re: Final Notification20 NOVEMBER 2007.
Dear Sir/Madam,Good Day! My name is Frank Knight; the prize director representing the Atlantic International sweepstakes Claims Department. On november 19th 2007 at approximately 3:45pm I tried contacting you, but unfortunately was unable to get a hold of you. The main reason for writing you this letter is to inform you the reason for my call. Further to our letter dated november 18th 2007 in which you were informed of your selection as the prize winner of our quarterly fifty thousand dollars (US$50,000.00) award, we are yet to receive any response from you. Every year we enter 50,000 names from different sweepstakes and lottery databases worldwide including North America, and our network server indicates that you were selected as a prize winner on november 18th 2007 and you still have not claimed your winnings for the sum of US$50, 000.00. We are legally required to notify you that if we do not get a response from you within 14days from the date on this letter, your file will be closed and you may no longer be eligible to claim your winnings. Usually when a winner does not claim their money, there should be a note stating why before we can close the client file.To elaborate further, this draw was held in London, where our head office is located. Your lot number drew lucky numbers 5-11-18-24-32-45 which consequently won in the 3rd category. You have therefore been approved and are guaranteed a lump sum pay out of US$50,000.00 at no extra cost to yourself from our North American payment office located in New York, should you claim your winning within 21 working days.Now, we would like to explain to you the Federal and International regulations governing the personal collections of cash prizes. Prize winnings are released to you as soon as your Clearance Fee is deducted and paid. That will be the day that your cheque will be released from our payment office. The clearance fee is provided to you and is a calculated amount based on the size of your win as required by Federal and International regulations. Note that once your clearance fee is deducted, you will receive your winnings in the form of a certified cheque or if you request, by bank transfer directly into your bank account or any account nominated by you. Under section 22 of the United Kingdom Non Resident Tax Act 2003 , all winners must clear full taxes of the money won, it is a criminal offence to authorise winning payments without full tax clearance by the winner.
For security purpose and clarity, we strongly advise that you keep your winning information confidential until your claims have been fully processed and your money remitted to you. This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claims and unwarranted abuse of this program by some nominees. The whole process to receive your win should normally take seven days should you claim within 14 days.So once again, Congratulations to you! To claim and receive your award prize please contact our main processing office in London, at email at ( .Sincerely YourscbcnvbdjdjCERTHA BAILEY VICE PRESIDENT.
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