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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, 22 May 2005 18:10:54 +0200
Subject: Tsunami

FROM: MR. John Paul.
TEL: +27-83-929-1775
FAX: +27-11-507-5517


I am Mr. John Paul working in department of fund released order in First National Bank of South Africa, East Gate Branch, I know the letter might come to you as surprise, but take it like your own deal.

Mr. IMAN AJI SASMITO, from INDONESIA executed contract through Department of Work and Housing here in South Africa, the contract worth of USD12, 550,000.00 Million Dollars, but on the process of transferring the money to him, as you know that thousand of people have died after a violent earthquake under the sea near northern Indonesia he died with his family in Tsunami disaster that occurred recently, we involve you to authenticate this claim.

Meanwhile, his money has been signed for payment in my office before I will give order to the bank for final endorsement of his money.

Nobody knows what is going on except my assistance and I. This is the man's information.

Contract Sum: USD12, 550,000.00 Million Dollars.
Contract number: FMA/FMF/3-X99/2003.
Payment Approval Nominal Code: will be given to your upon your response to partake.

You will act like the beneficiary of this money; I will give you more information about the transaction

I wait for your urgent reply

Best regards,
Mr. John Paul
N/B don't forget to include your direct telephone/fax number

Anti-fraud resources: