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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: =?utf-8?q?Office=20File?= <>
Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2009 18:04:15 -0800 (PST)

¡Tengo nueva dirección de correo!Ahora puedes escribirme

- INTERNATIONAL LOTTO ORGANIZATION Vour Mousque Bp Ponto 4B 32258, Cotonou Republic du Benin UNCLAIMED LOTTO PRIZE PAYMENT NOTICE.ATTENTION TO THE OWNER OF THIS EMAIL ADDRESS; Winner in the 2nd category of our Euroafriq free Net Lottery Promotional award draws held January 6th 2009.I am writing in respect to your lotto winning prize of $2.450,810.00(Two Million Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand Eight Hundred and Ten US Dollars only) which you won through the email ballot draws in our Euroafriq Lotto Award 2009 in the second category prize winnings category.We wish to inform you that your total prize money of $2.450,810.00 has been returned to us by our Lotto claim agent as unclaimed prize after their initial letter to your address for your payment was not successful.You are here by requested to contact our Treasury Office on telephone +229-9704-6911 or email: ( for your immediate payment. Our Treasury officer's name is Richard Peterson, so refer this to him and contact him immediately for your unclaimed lotto prize payment to you. You should contact our Treasury Officer as directed above for your payment, and do notify me as soon as you received your payment from our Treasurer.Thanks, Dr. Martin Luis Sanchez. President; Int'l Lotto Org.

Anti-fraud resources: