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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: "Michael Larson" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2011 03:01:59 +0800
Subject: From: Mr. Michael Larson (Reply).

Dearest Friend,


I know this will come to you as a surprise because you do not know me. I am Michael Larson, I work in HSBC Bank London, packaging and courier department.

I want you to help me clear this package that is already in the United States which I shipped through our HSBC accredited courier agent. The content of the package is $30,000,000.00 all in $100 bills but the courier company does not know that the package contains money.

All I want you to do for me now is this, fill this and get back to me, and I hope that at the end of the day you will have 30% and 70% will be for me. My identity must not be revealed to anybody.

[1] Full Names:
[2] Contact address:
[3] Direct Telephone No:
[4] Date of birth:
[5] Occupation:

If this arrangement is okay by you, you can call or email me, for security reasons other modalities will be discussed as soon as you get back to me indicating that you are ready to help me, I need your full co-operation and the time it requires so we can have this concluded in less than 3 days.

Note: Communication should be strictly through my private e-mail and phone for security reasons.

If you are not willing and interested in helping me, kindly delete this message from your mailbox and pretend you never received it.

Yours faithfully,

Mr. Michael Larson.
Tel: +447024067565
Fax: +448704954389

Anti-fraud resources: