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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: "Mr. Timothy Williams" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sun, 18 Apr 2010 16:29:55 +0100
Subject: Your quick response will be highly appreciated

May I use this medium to inform you that an amount of US$10.5 Million will be approved on your name as the beneficiary?
You will either receive this amount in cash delivery or through a bank wire transfer.

For the purpose of clarification, Do send your Full Names, Direct Telephone Numbers, Physical Address with Zip Code. More details will be given upon your reply.

Your quick response will be highly appreciated .

Mr. Timothy Williams.

Anti-fraud resources: