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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: "Microsoft Award Team" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sun, 27 Dec 2009 22:10:43 +0100
Subject: Batch number: 12/25/0340 Ref number: MSN-L/200-26937 Winning number: BA09788

Your e-mail address has won you the sum of £500,000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand Pounds Sterling) from the Microsoft International Lottery. For your payment, you are required to contact our fiduciary agent with the below contact details:

Sir Terry Grifith




(a) Your full Name: (b) Contact address: (c) Your Telephone and fax numbers: (d) Your Age: (e) Your occupation: (f) Your country of origin:



Anti-fraud resources: