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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: "RETOSA" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 6 Apr 2010 08:02:04 -0700

Unit C40, Lone Creek, Waterfall Park, Midrand
P. O. Box 7381, Half Way House, 1685, South-Africa.

Congratulations Beneficiary,

This is to inform you that you have won a Prize Money of One Million United States Dollars (US$1, 000, 000.00) for this year 2010 Lottery promotion which is organized by the REGIONAL TOURISM ORGANISATION OF SOUTHERN AFRICA [RETOSA].

This is Part of Our Initiative as an Organization to Promote Tourist Activities in the Southern African Region for the upcoming FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup to be hosted in South-Africa in June this year and also attract foreign tourist in the sub continent. RETOSA collects all the email addresses of Individuals / Companies that are active online, among the millions that are users of the Internet, this Organization selects only Seven people every Year as our winners through Our Integrated Electronic Balloting System (IEBS) without the winner necessarily applying or entering for the Lottery Competition, this is to avoid abuse of the Balloting System.. We congratulate you for being one of the people selected.

These are your IEBS numbers:

Batch number.....................RET 09102XN
Ref number.......................RET 35447XN
Winning number WIN...................RET 09788XN

These numbers fall within your Location file, you are requested to contact the Events Manager / Claims Department with your Full Names and Telephone Number immediately and kindly keep extremely very confidential until you have claimed your Winnings. The Name of the Claims Manager is Mr. Joseph Moloto and he will provide you with further details on how your funds would be remitted to you.
Please contact our payment office immediately with the information below.

Claims Manager: Mr. Joseph Moloto
24 Hour Enquiries: +27 73 144 7189
Once More, Congratulations on your Winning and please act with all urgency in this regards,

Yours truly,

Mrs. Elsie Barnard
For and On Behalf of RETOSA Electronic Balloting System.

Anti-fraud resources: