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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: "Mrs. Stephine Clara" <>
Date: Sun, 21 Feb 2010 14:06:08 -0100
Subject: Your Payment Confirmation

I write to inform you that we have already sent you $5000.00USD dollars
through Western Union as we have been given the mandate to transfer your full
compensation payment of $2,500,000,00 USD via Western Union by the United
Nations Government.So I decided to email you the MTCN and sender name, so you
can pick up this $5000.00USD to enable us send another $5000.00 USD by
tomorrow as you know we will be sending you only $5000.00
USD per day. Please pick up this information and run to any Western Union in
your country to pick up the $5000.00 USD and call me back to send you another
payment tomorrow.

Manager: Mrs. Stephine Clara
Phone: +2348135647165

Call or email me once you picked up this $5,000 USD today. Here is the
western union information ,you can also track it on-line @

Sender Information's
Sender first name = Cathy
Sender last name = Ritchie
MTCN;= 3449035831
Amount;= 5,000, USD
Test Question;= Honest?
Test Answer;= Trust.

Miss. Stephine Clara (ESQ)

This message has been scanned for viruses and
dangerous content by MailScanner, and is
believed to be clean.

Anti-fraud resources: