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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: "Helen Richardson" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2010 20:22:41 +0100

Yahoo Awards Center
      124 Stockport Road, Longsight, Manchester M60 2DB-UnitedKingdom.
This is to inform you that you have won a prize money of One Million Great Britain Pounds (GBP1,000,000.00) for the month of February 2010 Prize promotion which is organized by YAHOO AWARDS & WINDOWS LIVE.YAHOO collects all the email addresses of the people that are active online, among the millions that subscribed to Yahoo and Hotmail and few from other e-mail providers.
Six people are selected monthly to benefit from this promotion and you are one of the Selected Winners.
                       PAYMENT OF PRIZE /CLAIMS
Winners shall be paid in accordance with their Settlement
Centers.Yahoo Prize Award must be claimed not later than 30 days from date of Draw Notification. Any prize not claimed within this period will be forfeited and returned to its source as unclaimed.Stated below are your identification numbers:
REFERENCE NUMBER:    2007234522
PIN:                 1207
You are requested to contact our co-ordinator in Manchester and send your winning identification numbers to him: Co-ordinator's Name: Rev.Phillipe Dalakis E-Mail: Call:+44-7045730250.
You are advised to send the following information to our co-ordinator to facilitate the release of of your fund to you.
Full name,
Contact Address,
Telephone Number,
Fax Number,
Marital Status,
Date of Birth/Age.
Yours in service,
Mrs. Helen Richardson

Anti-fraud resources: