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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: "Williams Freeman" <> (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2007 04:17:39 +0000
Subject: We Need Your Help

Dearest One

I Come across your profile and have Decided to get in touch with you
after the prayer,to see if you can help me and my sister solve our problem. I got your contact from the Ecowas Infomation Center in Senegal. My sources of your contact gave me the courage and confidence.

My name is William Freeman With my sister Anna,The Son and Daughter of (Late Chief Makuza Freeman) Who lost his life in my country Rwanda on the 7th of March last year on his way to the company ( Nestle Food Plc). My father willed in cash, the sum of $12.5 Million US Dollars which he deposited in one of the security company in Dakar Senegal, west Africa, with enabling conditions for the release of the fund which are as follows:

(1) That we must be 22 years or above.
(2) That upon request for the release of the fund, there must be evidence of investment intentions especially outside the west Africa,

We contact you therefore to confirm if you can absorb us in partnership in your company or possibly advise us on any investment opportunity in your country. When we reach agreement with you, the company will release our fund to you and we will come over to you to commence business partnership with you and the fund.

We expect your urgent response including your addresses, your telephone
and fax number.
You can contact us through this our email:

Thanks for expected cooperation.

Our Regard,
Williams Freeman

Anti-fraud resources: