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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: Vivian Salem <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sun, 15 Feb 2009 17:33:01 +0000
Subject: Hoping to hear from you.

Dear Beloved.
Please read this mail carefully as it may be one of the most important mails you ever have read. My name is Mrs.Vivian Salem, wife of late Salem Nasim in Iraq,One year ago, I lost my husband Nasim and three children - Husam, 15 years old , Wasim, 12 years old and Merna, 6years old, this happened when American tank shelled our car as the family attempted to flee heavy fighting in Baghdad. View the Website below for detailed story of how I lost my family. visit website
Before my children and husband were killed, he deposited the sum of $4.5 million (Four Million five hundred thousand Dollars) in a bank in London. My Doctor told me that I would not last for long time due to my illness. Having known my condition I decided to donate this funds to a church or better still a God fearing individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein. I want an individual that will use this fund for orphanages and humanity work. I took this decision because I don t have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not Christians and I don t want my husband­s hard earned money to be misused by unbelievers.
I don­t want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly manner. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the Bank and that of my attorney in London who will assist you in this project. I will also issue you a letter of authority that will empower you as the original beneficiary of this fund. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated herein.This must be kept confidential from eyes and ears of my husband s family.
Hoping to hear from you.
Mrs.Vivian Salem.

Anti-fraud resources: