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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: "UK Lottery" <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2010 23:23:56 +0200
Subject: Congratulations, You have won £785,879.00 UK Jackpot.

Jackpot Award Prize of  785,879.00  British Pounds.
Attention : Email Account Owner,
Congratulations!!, We are happy to announce that you have won a lottery jackpot prize in our international lottery promotion.
Your active e-mail address attached to computer generated ticket number
:DTK51457481 has won UK Lottery online promotion 1st category award prize.
Please download the Microsft word editable attachment for details to claim
Yours truly
Teresa Roberts
( Online coordinator.)
The UK Lottery International Promotion Inc.

Anti-fraud resources: