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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: Microsoft Word Sweepstakes <>
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2010 10:45:22 -0300
Subject: Microsoft Word Sweepstakes =?iso-8859-1?b?SmFja3BvdK4=?=

Microsoft Word Sweepstakes Jackpot® Winner 10

Attention Winner,

Your email address as indicated was drawn and attached
REF:BTD/968/08,BATCH:409978E which subsequently won you £1,000,000.00.You
are advised to contact your fiduciary agent Mr Jerry Smith at with the following details below to avoid
unnecessary delays.

Your Full Names
Home Address

Sincerely,Mrs Roseline Poe
Copyright © 1991-2010.

Anti-fraud resources: