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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: "KELLY EZE"<>
Date: Thu, 22 Jan 2009 03:34:16 -0000
Subject: * * SPAM * * ATM PAYMENT UNIT

Spam detection software, running on the system ""=
, has
identified this incoming email as possible spam. The original message
has been attached to this so you can view it (if it isn't spam) or label
similar future email. If you have any questions, see
@@CONTACT_ADDRESS@@ for details.

Content preview: ATM PAYMENT UNIT CBN HEADQUARTERS Email: atmcontractinf=
CONTRACT #:MAV/NNPC/FGN/MIN/009. TELE:+234-7081253403 Attn: Contract b=
We apologize, for the delay of your payment and all the inconveniences=
inflict that we might have indulged you through. From the records of o=
contractors due for payment with the federal government of Nigeria you=
r name
and company was discovered as next on the list of the outstanding cont=
who have not received their payments. [...]=20

Content analysis details: (22.0 points, 4.0 required)

pts rule name description
---- ---------------------- ---------------------------------------------=
0.1 RDNS_NONE Delivered to trusted network by a host with n=
o rDNS
2.2 RCVD_IN_BL_SPAMCOP_NET RBL: Received via a relay in
[Blocked - see <
2.9 RCVD_IN_XBL RBL: Received via a relay in Spamhaus XBL
[ listed in]
0.5 RCVD_IN_PBL RBL: Received via a relay in Spamhaus PBL
1.2 SPF_NEUTRAL SPF: sender does not match SPF record (neutra=
1.8 SUBJ_ALL_CAPS Subject is all capitals
1.8 MILLION_USD BODY: Talks about millions of dollars
2.0 ADVANCE_FEE_2 Appears to be advance fee fraud (Nigerian 419=
1.4 ADVANCE_FEE_3 Appears to be advance fee fraud (Nigerian 419=
1.7 SARE_FRAUD_X3 Matches 3+ phrases commonly used in fraud spa=
1.5 ADVANCE_FEE_4 Appears to be advance fee fraud (Nigerian 419=
4.2 FORGED_MUA_OUTLOOK Forged mail pretending to be from MS Outlook

Anti-fraud resources: