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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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Fraud email example:

Date: Sun, 7 Mar 2004 13:58:12 -0800
Subject: Congratulation!!!

Attn:Dear Sir/Madam
We are pleased to inform you of the result of the
Lottery Winners International programs held on the
23/2/2004. Your e-mail address attached to ticket
number 653164251591-6011 with serial number
7321410,batch number 7151085135,lottery ref number
6376527711 and drew lucky numbers 4-9-17-36-44-78
which consequently won in the 1st category, you have
therefore been approved for a lump sum pay out of
US$1.500,000.00 (One Million, Five Hundred Thousand
United States dollars)
Due to mix up of some numbers and names, we ask that
you keep your winning information confidential until
your claims has been processed and your money Remitted
to you. This is part of our security protocol to avoid
double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program
by some participants. All participants were selected
through a computer ballot system drawn from over
40,000 company and 20,000,000 individual email
addresses and names from all over the world. This
promotional program takes place every year. This
lottery was promoted and sponsored by
Association of software producers. we hope with part
of your winning,you will take part in our next year
US$20 million international lottery. To file for your
claim, please contact our paying officer:
Contact Person:Mr.Paul Zimmerman

Remember, all winning must be claimed not later than
25th of April,2004. After this date all unclaimed
funds will be included in the next stake. Please note
in order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications
please remember to quote your reference number and
batch numbers in all correspondence.
Furthermore, should there be any change of address do
inform our agent as soon as possible.
Congratulations once more from our members of staff
and thank you for being part of our promotional
Anybody under the age of 18 is automatically
yours Sincerely,
Mrs.Queensley Rhoda,
For Management.

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Anti-fraud resources: