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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 Shi Haixing <>
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2010 19:44:17 -0600

Dear Friend,

I am a Senior Banker working with a Bank here in Hong Kong, I need your
assistance in repatriating $125,000,000.00M left behind by a late customer that
died with his entire family before it is declared unserviceable. Every attempt
to trace any member of his family has proved unsuccessful and abortive. I will
give you more information upon your response to this proposal. My Email:

Best Regards,
Mr. Shi Haixing

Anti-fraud resources: