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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: Mother Ruth <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 16 May 2007 22:58:43 -0400
Subject: Beloved;Use it for the Glory of God.

Beloved;Use it for the Glory of God.I am Mother Ruth from England, married to Thomas Hillary who worked with a mining company in Turkey for 25 yrs before he died in March 2000. We were married for 18 yrs without a child. Since his death I decided not to re-marry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which is against my faith. When my husband was alive he deposited Ten million, six hundred thousand USD with Bank in Brentwood, UK and this money is still with the Bank.Recently, the management of the Bank wrote me as the beneficiary to come forward to claim the money or issue a letter of authorization to someone to receive it on my behalf as the account have turned dormant and I'm presently in a hospital where I have been undergoing treatment for cancer of the lungs and have since lost my ability to talk. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to an individual or cooperate body that will utilize 80% of this money to fund charity home, orphanages and widows around the world in my name. I shall give you the contact of the bank and a letter of authority that will prove you as the original and new beneficiary of the fund. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated herein, remain blessed in the name of the Lord.Yours in Christ,Mother Ruth
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Anti-fraud resources: