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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: thelma yormie <>
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2011 03:26:33 -0800 (PST)
Subject: HI

Hi Dear,

How are you today? I feel like communicating with you, my name is Miss,Thelma single by marital status and never married before, I'm 5.9ft tall. It is my pleasure with due respect to cultivate a healthy friendship with you with. I have great interest in making new friends,

Today I found your e-mail id then I took the opportunity to write to you as I will really want us to be good friends,and I will so much appreciate it if we can click together as one great friend. I will send my photo at least for you to see who is writing to you.I will like you to write me back, so that I will give you full explanation about myself and reasons and purpose I have contacted you, please feel free to write me back.

Yours Sincerely,


Anti-fraud resources: