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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: "Mrs.Monica Lisa" <>
Date: Sun, 7 Feb 2010 17:02:26 -0600 (CST)

Dear Internet User
This Email is to inform you, that you have emerged a winner of the sum of
$2,500,000.00 USD with the following Numbers attached Ref Number: PW 9590
ES 9414,Batch Number: 573881545-NL/2008 and Ticket Number: PP3502 /8707-01
on our online draws which was played on the year 2010.
For further Information about your Winnings.Contact your Lottery Claims
Officer with the following contact address Below.

Mr.Van Hoffman

You will provide him with the following information,
First name:
Last name:
Telephone/Fax number:
Congratulations! Thank you for being a user of the World Wide Web.
Faithfully yours.
Mrs.Monica Lisa
Lottery Coordinator

Anti-fraud resources: