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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: "SHELL UK" <>
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2016 06:00:29 -0600
Subject: Re: Winner

Congratulations as you have just won a Cash Prize of $2 Million in our
on-going Shell UK International Poverty Alleviation Online Lottery Program 2016. Please contact us for payment details immediately.

Best Regards,
Mr. Laurence Thomas
Shell Lottery Program Coordinator
Shell Centre
London SE1 7NA
United Kingdom
Tel: +44-7751598419
Fax: +44-7043083020

Anti-fraud resources: