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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:

From: "Helen Woods" <>
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2005 15:51:32 +0000

Irish/English Sweepstakes
P O Box 657
London, United Kingdom
(Customer Services)


We happily announce to you the draws of Irish/English Sweepstakes Lottery,
an International Online Sweepstakes Program held on Friday 15th July, 2005.
Your email address attached to ticket/serial number IE6098-05, with serial
number IE535-29 drew the lucky numbers: 1-15-24-37-42-50 (bonus no. 33),
With Ref. Number: IES/376O05/77, Batch Number: 05/507/IES360 and
subsequently won the lottery in the 1st category.

You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of £880,000.00 (Eight
hundred and eighty thousand pounds sterling) in cash credited to file
ISPR/7563409218/05. This is from a total cash prize of £8,680,770.00 shared
amongst the first nine (9) lucky Winners in this category.

All participants for the online version were selected randomly from World
Wide Web sites through computer draw system and extracted from over 154,000
Unions, Associations and Corporate Bodies listed online.

In view of this, your £880,000.00 (Eight hundred and eighty thousand pounds
sterling) would be released to you by any of our payment offices.


For security reasons, you are advised to keep your winning information
confidential till your claims is processed and your money remitted to you in
whatever manner you deem fit to claim your prize. This is part of our
precautionary measure to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this
program. Deductions from WINNING SUM are not allowed until WINNING SUM has
been handed over to the winner. Please be warned. To file for your claim,
please contact our fiduciary agent:

Irish/English Sweepstakes
P O Box 657
London, United Kingdom
(Claims office)

All prize money must be claimed in ten working days. After this date, all
funds will be returned as unclaimed.

NOTE: In order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications, please always
remember to quote your reference and batch numbers in every correspondence
with your claims agent. Furthermore, should there be any change of your
address, do inform your claims agent as soon as possible.

Please include your private telephone and fax numbers while replying.

Congratulations once again from our team of staff and thank you for being
part of our promotional program.

Mrs. Helen Woods
Lottery Coordinator

Note: Anybody under the age of 17 is AUTOMATICALY DISQUALIFIED and Any
BREACH of CONFIDENTIALITY on the part of the WINNERS will result to

Anti-fraud resources: