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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: "jennifer willson" <>
Date: Tue, 20 Sep 2005 14:39:50 +0000
Subject: HELLO...


My name is Mrs. Jennifer Wilson I am a dying woman who have decided to
donate what I have to you/ church. I am 59 years old and I was diagnosed
forcancer for about 2 years ago, immediately after the death of my husband,
who has left me everything he worked for.
I have been touched by God to donate from what I have inherited from my
late husband to the you for the good work of God,rather than allow my
relatives to use my husband hard earned funds ungodly.Please pray,that the
good Lord forgive me my sins.I have asked God to forgive me and beleive he
has because He is a merciful God.
I will be going in for an operation in less than one hour:I decided to
WILL/donate the sum of $1,500,000 (One million five hundred thousand
dollars) to you for the good work of the lord, and also to help the
motherless and less privilege and also for the assistance of thewidows.
At the moment I cannot take any telephone calls right now due to the fact
that my relatives are around me and my health status.I have adjusted my WILL
and my lawyer is aware I have changed my will you and he will arrange the
transfer of the funds from my account to you.I wish you all the best and may
the good Lord bless you abundantly, and please use the funds well and always
extend the good work to others.Contact my lawyer with this specified Email:, and tell him that I have WILLED
($1,500,000.00) to you by quoting my personal reference number
Law/chamber/solicitors/je/ws/WILL/9834520012 and I have also notified him
that I am WILLING that amount to you for a specific and good work.I
know I dont know you but I have been directed to do this.Thanks and God

NB: I will appreciate your utmost confidentiality in this matter until the
task is accomplished as I don't want anything that will Jeopardize my last
wish. And Also I will be contacting with you by email as I don't want my
relation or anybody to know because they are always around me.
Jennifer Wilson

Anti-fraud resources: