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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 Debra Avalos" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 2010 00:46:18 -0400
Subject: Dr John David Can Help You Out

Attn: My Dear,
I am Mrs. Debra Avalos, I am a US citizen, 48 years Old. I reside here in
Buda, Texas 78610-4819. My residential address is as follows. 12107 Mustang Mesa Drive Buda, Texas 78610-4819, United States, am thinking of relocating since I am now rich. I am one of those that took part in the Compensation in Nigeria many years ago and they refused to pay me, I had paid over $20,000USD while in the USA, trying to get my payment all to no avail.
So I decided to travel down to Nigeria with all my compensation documents, and I was directed to meet Dr John David, who is the FOREIGN REMITTANCE AWARD COMMITTEE, and I contacted him and he explained everything to me. He said whoever is contacting us through e-mails are fake.He took me to the paying bank for the claim of my Compensation payment.
Right now I am the happiest woman on earth because I have received my Compensation funds of $500,000.00USD (Five Hundred Thousand US Dollars). Moreover, Dr John David showed me the full information of those that are yet to receive their payments and I saw your name and e-mail address as one of the beneficiaries that is why I decided to email you to stop dealing with those people, they are not with your fund, they are only making money out of you. I will advise you to contact Dr John David
You have to contact him directly with your Full name,home address and phone number on this information below.
Name:   Dr John David
Phone: +2348065997472
You really have to stop dealing with those people that are contacting you and telling you that your fund is with them, it is not in anyway with them, they are only taking advantage of you and they will dry you up until you have nothing.The only money I paid after I met Dr John David was just $480 for the paper works, take note of that.
Once again stop contacting those people, I will advise you to contact Dr John David so that he can help you to deliver your fund instead of dealing with those liars that will be turning you around asking for different kind of money to complete your transaction.
Thank You and Be Blessed.
Mrs. Debra Avalos.
12107 Mustang Mesa Drive
Buda, Texas 78610-4819
United States

Anti-fraud resources: