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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?MasterCard=C2=AE_International_/_Microsoft=C2=AE_Corporation_UK?= <>
Date: Sun, 19 Jul 2009 02:40:14 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: Reg. No. MCIMJ: 36925/0751.

Director: Mr. William F. Aldinger III.

Dear Cash Winner,

Your e-mail address was selected and confirmed by our co-sponsor Microsoft
International, through their latest internet software. You have therefore
been approved by MasterCard® International / Microsoft® Corporation UK the
sum of £3.6 Million Pounds (Three Million, Six Hundred Thousand Pounds).
These funds are in cash, credited to a valid cashier's check, with a
winning Reg. No. MCIMJ: 36925/0751. Be informed that your prize has been
insured and ready for pay out to you. You are to contact your assigned
claims officer below with your required information's:

Name: Mr. Robert Reeg.
Phone: +44 70457 70102.
Claims Verification Department.

Do email the above Claims Administrator, at once with this Claims
Requirements; 1. Full Name: 2. Address: 3. Nationality: 4. Age: 5.
Occupation: Nature of Work: 6. Phone: Fax: 7. State of Origin: Country: 8.
Sex: 9. Winning Email Address:

Mode of Prize Remittance
(1) Courier Delivery Of your Certified Winning Cheque and other Winning
Documents safely to you.
(2) Bank Wire Transfer.

Yours sincerely,
Dr. Long W. Timothy.
Head Of Customer Service.
Copyright © 2009 MasterCard® Inc. UK.

NOTE: Your required information above will only be used for the stated
purpose of assisting you legally to receive your prize as announced in
this notification letter. Any other distribution, use, or release of any
of your information to a third party is highly prohibited without your
consent, to maintain your privacy and personal safety.

Anti-fraud resources: