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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: "MR JOHN HALL " <>
Date: Sun, 11 Oct 2009 14:46:11 -0300

On the behalf of the National Lottery, I hereby inform you that your E-mail
address has been drawn winner of the program, which was held on May
Your email address won in the category 2 and are
entitled to 500 000GBP ( Five Hundred Thousand  Pounds).
Your full name:
Tel: Gender:
Age: Country.
John Hall
Tel: +447024087687

Prefeitura Municipal Ivoti

Av. Presidente Lucena, 3527

Fone: 3563-8800

Fax: 3563-1111

Anti-fraud resources: