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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. Bethel Solundo" <>
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2010 04:03:20 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: =?utf-8?B?SSB3YW50IHlvdSB0byBjb250YWN0IG15IFBhc3RvciBmb3IgeW91ciAo4oKs?=

My Dear,
            I crave your indulgence at this mail coming from somebody you have not known before but I believe I have been destined to be of blessing to you.
I am Mrs. Bethel Solundo former director of Benin Cement Company. I am presently in Spain where I am under going treatment.
I want you to contact my Pastor in Republic of Benin, PASTOR CHRISTIAN DANIEL using his telephone +229 982 34 042 or email address ( Instruct him to send you the sum of (€1,750,000EUROS) One Million, Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Euros in cashier check that I kept for you in which you should use 30% of the total sum for yourself and then 70% for the less privilege in the society.
I cannot predict what will be my fate by the time you will receive the fund, but you should please ensure that the fund is used as I have described above.
Mrs. Bethel Solundo.

Anti-fraud resources: