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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: "UK Lottery" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 2009 16:01:55 -0800
Subject: Email address has won you US$4.6M

Email address has won you US$4.6M
If you are the correct owner of this email address then be glad this day as the result of the UK lotto online e-mail address draws and sweepstakes held in DUBAI-UNITED ARAB EMIRATE on the 1ST of NOV. 2009 has just been released and we are glad to announce to you that your e-mail address has won you the lottery in the first category and you are entitled to claim the sum of US$4,600,000.00
Your email addresses was entered for the online draw on this Ticket Number: APP236566301307 and won on this Lucky Number: MX014926583. You are to contact Mr. Donald Hou on the below email who will direct you on how to contact the Security and Diplomatic Delivery Company where your won fund of $4.6Million is deposited.
To enable Mr. Donald Hou ascertain you as the rightful receiver of the $4.6Million, include the below listed information in your contact mail.Your country, complete official names, address, amount won, ticket and lucky numbers, date/venue of draw, contact
telephone, mobile and fax numbers, Age, Sex, occupation and job title].
Online Winning Notification Department,

Anti-fraud resources: