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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: "MIKE" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2011 21:23:18 +0200

Dear Sir,
How are you and your family? Well I want to establishing and operating a very viable business as a means of investment in your country. I do not know too well on how this is done in your country, so I will need you to help me in this regard.
My preference is any good profit yielding business and I would appreciate any viable ideas you could come up with. I will also need you to help me look for properties like homes and lands for sale as I am proposing to invest the sum of Ten Million United States Dollars ($10,000,000.00
USD) for this. I do not know if you can and will be of help to me.
For a brief on my personality; my name is Dr.Brown Mike, a Sierra Leone in United Kingdom. I am a retired Business man, formally into Oil and Gas business.I am 62 years of age, married with a wife and 4 lovely kids.
I dropped my business because it wasn't producing profitable income. I have had so much problems with the United kingdom Authority just because am a foreigner I believe.
My need for this business proposition and to acquire these properties is very urgent as I am planning to move out of this country with my family down to your country. I want you to also help in finding a good home where my family and I will live in. Please I expect your good and prompt reply so that we can proceed swiftly. I will need your phone and fax numbers for easier communication with you in case I am unable to access my emails. Here is my contact number +447031823842,
Best Regards,

Anti-fraud resources: