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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: "boliahmed2" <>
Date: Mon, 2 Jun 2008 03:16:59 +0100
Subject: Hello my good friend,

Hello my good friend,
How are you today? Hope all is well with you and your family? I am using
this opportunity to inform you that this mlti-million-dollar business has
been concluded with the assistance of another partner from
India who financed the transaction to a logical conclusion. Due to your past
and trustworthiness you showed during the course of the transaction, I have
left a certified international bank cheque for you with my secretary worth
of $1.500,000.00 cashable anywhere in the world.
ADDRESS: Cotonou, Benin Republic.
His email address: (
Therefore, you should send to him:
(1) Your full Name and telephone number.
(2) Your full/correct mailing address where you want him to send the cheque
to you.
Thanks and remain blessed.

Anti-fraud resources: