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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: "United Nations" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2011 21:28:55 -0700

Internal Audit, Monitoring,Consulting And Investigations Division
From: Mrs.Michelle Bachelet
Dear Nigerian Scam Victim,
This is to inform you that I came to Nigeria on Friday 10th June, 2011, after series of complaints from the FBI and other Security agencies from Asia, Europe, Oceania, Australia,South America and the United States of America respectively, against the Federal Government of Nigeria and the rate of scam/fraudlent activities going on in their country.
I have met with President Goodluck Jonathan who claimed that he has been trying his best to make sure you receive your fund in your account. Right now, as directed by our secretary general Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, We have decided to waive away all your clearance fees and authorise the Government of Nigeria to effect the payment of your fund into your account without any delay. The only fee you will pay to confirm your fund in your account is your United Nation Non-Interferance & Notorization fee of US$420 Dollars only to the UN Office.
Sincerely, you are a lucky person because I have just discovered that some top Nigerian/British Government Officials are interested in your fund and they are working in collaboration with One Mr.John Wheeler from USA to fraustrate you and thereafter divert your fund into their personal account.
I have a very limited time to stay in Nigeria so I would like you to urgently respond to thismessage so that I can advise you on how best to confirm your fund in your account within the next 72 hours.
Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director
Sincerely yours,
Mrs.Michelle Bachelet
Executive Director
Office of the UN. African Region.

Anti-fraud resources: