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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: "Email Award" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 13 Aug 2009 15:09:25 +0200
Subject: Congratulations


You were selected as a winner in the International Email lottery.
Prize money:615,810.00 euros with Ref No: 867331247/06/IB

To claim,contact:
Carlos Alfredo,International Lotto S.A
Tel: +34 634140773 Email: Sincerely,

Mrs.Juana San
Joachim. Secretary.

Anti-fraud resources: