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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: Benjamin Medina <>
Reply-To: Benjamin Medina <>
Date: Thu, 24 Jun 2010 02:01:32 -0500 (COT)
Subject: Qualification Codes:(E-57-10747, R-456-76)

Messenger Yahoo! Lottery Results You won £800,000.00! Yahoo! Mail congratulates you! 

Your Qualification Numbers for a grant award of 800,000.00 Pounds is (E-57-10747, R-456-76). 
Contact: Mr. Lewis Hayes e-mail: with the below detail for claims.

Reconfirm the information below to the Fiduciary Officer.
1.Full Names:
4.Telephone Number:

Yours faithfully,
Mrs. Mary Hofstede
Sweepstakes International Programme.

Yahoo! Lottery is a free service that does not require you to be a Yahoo! registered user.

Anti-fraud resources: