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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: "Uk Lottery Board" <>
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2009 06:58:01 +0000
Subject: Wed 31 Dec 08.

On the behalf of the UK National

Lottery Board, I
hereby announce that your
email has been drawn winner of the

program held on
Wed 31 Dec 08.
Your e-mail address won in the 2nd

category and
you are hereby entitled to
500 000GBP (Five Hundred Thousand

Contact Mr J. Hall,
your Full

Kevin Hensley

Anti-fraud resources: