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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: (Barrister James Connor)
Date: Fri, 20 Jun 2008 17:23:11 +0000
Subject: Contact me at

I am James Connor, Personal Attorney to Late Engineer Dave, who worked with Shell Oil in UK. On September 11th, 2001 my Client with his entire family perished in an Air-Crash. The deceased had a deposit, valued at £7.2million, the bank issued me a notice to provide the next-of-kin or have the account confiscated. I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin so that the proceeds of this account could be transferred to you. Contact me at (

Anti-fraud resources: