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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: "The National Lottery" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 7 Jan 2010 23:41:21 +0200
Subject: Batch number: 1010/UK10

We wish to inform you that your e-mail address has luckily won our online draw with winning details: Reference number: KMB010 with Serial number: 1002/10, Batch number: 1010/UK10, Ticket number: 05 14 27 29 34 35 (04) Bonus Ball. You are advice to quote your Reference and Batch numbers to your claim agent for your prize claim in order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications. We advise you keep this e-mail notice until your prize has been remitted to you.
Mr. Harrington (Claim agent)
Fax: 0044 870 068 1454
Online Lotto-coordinator

Anti-fraud resources: