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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: "Mega Online Promotion" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2011 18:02:02 +0100
Subject: ATTENTION: Dear Email Account Holder


We are pleased to notify you the "Star Winner" of our last Secured Mega Online Promotion result. This is a reward program for the patronage of internet services and all email addresses entered for this promotional draws were randomly selected from an internet resource database of registered software and domain users.

Reference Number: NL-905/2010
E-ticket number: 9083651-AA
Category: A
Amount: USD2.500.000,00 (Two Million, Five Hundred Thousand Dollars)

You are required to call your claims agent and also send an e-mail with the contact information presented below:

Contact: Mr. Sean Nolan
Phone: +31 61 979 8868

In line with the governing rules of claim, you are requested to furnish
Mr. Nolan With the following information:

1. Full name:
2. Address:
3. Occupation:
4. Tel/Fax....
5. Cell/Mobile:
6. Age:
7. Winning Ref Number:


Dennis Smed,
Promotions Coordinator.

NOTE: This is an Automated Message; do not respond. You should contact the assigned claims agent immediately to process the remittance of the prize sum to you.

Anti-fraud resources: