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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. Belinda Z. Idris" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sun, 21 Mar 2010 02:00:17 +0100
Subject: Dear: Friend.

Dear: Friend.

Good day. How are you and your family, hope fine in health. I am a Dr/Mrs. Belinda Z. Idris member of the Contract Award Commission, Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, West Africa ; I am in search of an agent to assist us in the transfer of (US$21.5M) and subsequent investment in properties in your country.

We will require you to do the following for us:

(1) Assist in the transfer of the said sum.
(2) Advise on lucrative areas for investment.
(3) Assist us in purchase of properties.

If you decide to render your service to us in this regard, 20% of the total sum will be offering to you, and you can also send me your private telephone and fax for easy communication.

Also feel free to contact me directly on this email so that we will exchange telephone numbers to enable us talking to each other in good confidence.

This issue took us long time of planning and now it is comfortable to act.

Please, reply to my email urgently. Respectfully,

Dr/Mrs. Belinda Z. Idris
National Secretary Contract Award Commission
Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources
West Africa

Anti-fraud resources: