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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: "Claims Department" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 3 May 2010 03:49:24 -0600
Subject: Greetings

I have been waiting for you to contact me for your Confirmable Bank
Draft of $800.000.00 United States Dollars, but I did not hear from
you since that time then I went ahead and deposited the Draft with
UPS COURIER SERVICE, West Africa. I traveled out of the country on
a Course and I will not come back till next year.
What you have to do now is to contact the UPS COURIER SERVICE as soon as
possible to know when they will deliver your package to you because 
of the expiring date of your draft. For your information, I have paid
for the delivering Charge, Insurance  premium and Clearance Certificate
Fee of the Check showing that it is not a Drug Money.
The only money you will send to UPS COURIER SERVICE to deliver your
Draft direct to your postal Address in your country is ($150.00 USD)
only and this fees is for the "Security Keeping Fee" of the Courier
Company so far. Again, don't be deceived by anybody to pay any other money
except $150.00USD.
I would have paid that security keeping fees but UPS COURIER SERVICE
said "NO" because they don't  know when you will contact them and in case
of demurrage. You have to contact the UPS COURIER SERVICE office holding
your package now for the delivery of your Draft with the information below:
Contact Person: Barr. Steven Efe        
Phone Number: 009-234-1731-8542
Finally, make sure that you re-confirm your Postal address and Direct
telephone number to them again to avoid any mistake on the Delivery of
your draft to you and ask them  to give you the tracking number to enable
you track your package over there and know when it will get to your doorstep.
Re-Confirm your information as stated below.
Full Name:
Delivery Address:
Phone Number:
Let me repeat again, try to contact them as soon as you receive this email
to avoid any further delay and remember to pay them their Security  Keeping
fee of $150.00 Usd for their immediate action.
You should also let me know through email as soon as you receive your Draft.
Yours Faithfully,
Mrs. Janice Wallace

Anti-fraud resources: