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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: "HM Revenue & Customs" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2013 13:31:55 -0500
Subject: Warning - Transaction Status Enclosed

HM REVENUE & CUSTOMS - 100 Parliament St.
London, SW1A 2BQ. United Kingdom
Department:  Audit and Risk Committee Team
Telephone: - +44 (705) 383-8417
Fax Number: +44 (700) 593-1276
Monday, October 21, 2013
File Code No: IMF/2104/013
Message To; Sole Beneficiary
You are being contacted today (21st of October 2013) because we have taken time to review your online email communication messages relating to your unsuccessful transactions with most international lottery/contract award winning organizations, firms and other foreign financial institutions. Conclusively, we discovered that most withheld and/or unpaid funds which originated from lottery organizations, international trading company's awarded contract funds and deceased personnel were not properly applied for an international fund payment to its beneficiary's account by the fund beneficiary approved to receive such funds.
In view of the above, we have immensely sorted out issues with the regional financial units in charge of your transaction and our extensive investigation confirmed that you are the true beneficiary shortlisted and approved to receive an outstanding sum of $15,000,000.00 USD (Fifteen Million United States Dollars).
Please note that if you did not authorize anyone to claim your funds, kindly notify us immediately by providing your present residential address for document postal delivery and also provide a scanned copy of any identification document such as your driver's license to enable us process your application for payment immediately. Also note that failure to properly apply for your fund payment through our assistance will nullify your chances of receiving your fund and this fund will be confiscated and made to be forfeited under the Money Laundering and Other Financial Crime Prohibition Act of 2003.
Yours Sincerely,
Ms. Lin Homer
(Chief Executive Officer).
Foreign Assets Control
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
Disclaimer: The information in this email and in any files transmitted with it is intended only for the addressee and contains confidential and/or privileged material. Access to this email by anyone else is unauthorized. If you receive this in error, please contact the sender immediately and delete the material from your computer. If you are not the intended recipient, any disclosure, copying, distribution or any action taken or omitted to be taken in reliance on it, is strictly prohibited.

Anti-fraud resources: