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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 Helen Johnson <>
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2010 04:08:38 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Mrs Helen Johnson


I contacted you some time ago in respect to the funds transfer of my deceased client worth about $12 million USD. I want to sincerely thank you for your attention and help initially although you backed out thinking that the funds transfer was illegal and a scam. Well everything was legal and legit and went well, the funds transfer was a success!!!

I am on vacation now in Kenya with my family. In a way to appreciate your kind gesture, I have instructed my bank to transfer the sum of one million two hundred thousand USD ($1,200,000.00) to you via a certified cashiers check or telegraphic transfer. This is my little way of saying thank you for your initial help.

Please send to me the following information as soon as possible at my private email address below ( ), so that I can forward it to my bank for the necessary modalities in the transfer of your fund.

1. Your full Name

2. Telephone/Mobile phone number:

3. Contact address

Yours truly,

Mrs Helen Johnson

Anti-fraud resources: