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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: "FAN yaosheng" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2014 04:56:19 -0000
Subject: Please reply to my email: if interested.

GREETINGS, Please did you get my previous email about you been a beneficiary to a late customer
who made a deposit of $8,370,000.00. in my banking service department at the Bank of China (BOC)
united Kingdom without any next of kin. i introduced myself to you as Ging.Hu if you can remember.
i have all the facts with me to guide you as the next of kin. we can both share the proceeds in a
50/50 ratio. please reply to my email: if interested.

Anti-fraud resources: