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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: john anderson <>
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2007 08:59:44 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Issuance of a cheque.

Dear Amell Diet,

You winnings can be transferred through a certified Cheque posted to your address. It all depends on the type of transfer you would like. Issuance of a Cheque is ok and very possible. A bank to bank transfer could be made directly to your account. This you have to instruct the bank and indicate whichever means you wish to recieve your winnings.

However, in any of the cases you must have to pay for any required fee such as the tax. Once you are able to meet up with the requirments then your winnings will be transferred either through a cheque or direct bank transfer. I hope I have made everything clear to you. If you really want to have your winnings, kindly contact our paying bank as I was informed that you have been contacted but there was no response from you till date.

John Anderson
(Claim Agent)

For some time I was reflecting about slowly your recent email and frankly, I am a little distressed.

Sorry but it is now definitely more difficult to obtain my prize than promised. Can it not be easier to just post me a winners check? Kindly please make clear this for me?

Expectantly I wish to read a obliging reply from you as soon as possible.


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