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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: "E-Lot Promotions." <>
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 2009 03:55:46 +1000 (EST)
Subject: Dear Internet User

Dear Internet User,

We are pleased to inform you of the result of our Internet Promotional
Draws. This is a reward program for the patronage of internet services and
all email addresses entered for this promotional draws were randomly
selected from an internet resource database of of registered software and
domain users.

Your email address was selected in the Category "A” with Reference Number
RGM/1313-101, and this qualifies you to be the recipient of the grand
prize award sum of $2,500,000 (Two million, five hundred thousand
dollars). The payout of this cash prize to you will be subject to the
final validations and satisfactory report that you are the bonafide owner
of the winning email address.

In line with the governing rules of claim, you are required to establish
contact with your designated claims agent via email or telephone with the
particulars below:

Name: Mr.Damien Lewis
Tel:+31 626 006 051
Foreign Claims Agent Netherlands Office.

You are advised to call the Claims agent for confirmation or provide the
following information for processing the payment of your cash award.

Telephone/Fax number:
Winning Reference Number:

Failure to complete the claims of your cash prize after 14 days of this
notice will result in the revision of award. Hence, you should commence
your claims process immediately, by contacting the claims agent who would
be guiding you through the Claims process.

Congratulations on your Winning Prize and we look forward to completing
your payout soon.

Yours Faithfully,
Briana Rihne,
Lottery Co-ordinator.

Anti-fraud resources: