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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: "Jim McConville" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 02:52:13 -0700
Subject: Greetings & Business Proposal

25 Gresham Street
London EC2V 7HN


This might not be the appropriate channel to contact you but situation necessitated this medium. However, I am sincerely sorry for any inconveniency this may bring your way.

I discovered an account in my office, with no owner or beneficiaries. It will be in my interest to transfer the proceeds of this account worth Twenty million British Pounds to an offshore country. If you can be a collaborator/partner to this please indicate interest immediately for us to proceed and more details given.
Remember this is absolutely confidential, as i am seeking your assistance to act as the beneficiary of the account, since we are not allowed to operate foreign accounts. Your collaborating response will be highly appreciated and beneficial.

I have reposed my confidence in you and hope that you will not disappoint me.

My Regards,

Jim McConville

Anti-fraud resources: