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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: Mike Ellis <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 9 Jul 2009 09:37:44 +0000
Subject: Business proposal/Call me

Dear ,

I am pleased to contact you personally for a business transaction of GBP £30,000,000 (Thirty Million British Pounds Sterling) hopefully that you will respond positively to this offer.

I need a reliable, honest and capable person who will be able to handle this transaction, for this I am contacting you, and I believe that you will never turn down my request.

I am Mike Ellis, Chartered account by profession and Executive Member, Lloyds Banking Group Plc, London.

With your sincere assistant and co-operation, we can finalise this transaction, and be rest assured that this deal is worth taking and highly profitable.

At this moment, I will not issue the details of this transaction until your positive response is granted.For further correspondence regarding this business proposal, send your response to, or ring me on +44 703 597 8470
for further discussion on this transaction.

Thanks for your attention.

Kind regards.

Mike Ellis
Group Finance Director,and
Executive Member,
Lloyds Banking Group Plc
Cell: +44 703 597 8470

Anti-fraud resources: