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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: "Alex Ferdinand" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2011 12:27:12 +0100
Subject: Good Result on your fund update

From Mr. Alex Ferdinand
This is to notify you that we have your fund of USD$9.5M with us here in the UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION
COMMISSION OFFICE and your email was among the beneficiary of the said fund. Due to your late response to our
email message sent to you from Different department on this Issue, there is one Mr. Graves here who said he was
sent by you and he said he is now the owner of the fund. He said he is ready to pay for the procurement of the
legal documents which is ($548 usd ) for the release of the fund to him.
I came to Nigeria yesterday from London, after series of complains from the FBI and other Security agencies from
Asia, Europe, Oceania, Antarctica, South America and the United States of America respectively, against the
Federal Government of Nigeria and the British Government for the rate of scam activities going on in these two
I await your urgent response to this office immediately.
Sincerely yours.
Mr A. Ferdinand
United Nations Under-Secretary-
General for Internal Oversight.
Direct Tel: +234-704-364-6231

Anti-fraud resources: