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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: "Adam Smith" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2010 14:04:53 +0200
Subject: Your Email Account Has Been Selected Ref No: NL 2010 OS 1973

Ref No: NL 2010 OS 1973
Batch Number: 444821545-NL/2009

Attn: Lucky Winner,

Upon the conclusion of our recent e-lottery draws, your email address was selected from an exclusive list of 150,000 email addresses generated from an internet resource database.

You are therefore to receive a cash prize of $2,500,000.00. (Two Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) .

To file for the processing of your prize sum payment, you are advised to contact our Certified and Accredited claims Agent for category "A" winners with the information below:

Name:Mr.Nelson Cole
Tel: +31 626433877

You are advice to provide him with the following information:

Telephone/Fax number:

NOTE: Ensure to quote your Reference Numbers in all your communication with your claims agent.
All winnings must be claimed not later than 14 days,unclaimed funds would be included in the next stake.
Remember to quote your reference information in all correspondence.

Yours Faithfully,
Adam Smith
Lottery Coordinator.

Anti-fraud resources: