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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: "Ministry of Foreign Affairs" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 18:20:29 +0100
Subject: Scam Alert !!

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Federal Republic of Nigeria

Ref: An Open Letter To All Scam Victims,


If you have sent money to Nigeria in the course of getting one fund or the other, you are required to send your name and address to us via the email address stated below for verification at Western Union and MoneyGram to see if truly you have sent money by Western Union or MoneyGram to Nigeria and after verification if truly you have sent money to Nigeria in the course of getting one fund or the other that means you have been scammed and you will be reimbursed with the sum of twenty thousand dollars only.

The transfer charges of the twenty thousand dollars have been paid and the fund has also been insured by the Federal Government of Nigeria to avoid unnecessary deduction from the fund. Please note that we have never held any scam victims compensation program in Nigeria. This is the First-Of-Its-Kind. Do not be deceived!

Send your name and address for verification to:

Please do not respond to email which asks you to send your username and password.

Yours sincerely,
Dr. Joshua Oluwa
Oversea Communication Department
We sincerely apologies for all the damages you must have gone through in the hand of Nigerian fraudsters. We are Projecting favorably the image of the government and people of Nigeria locally and internationally through a proactive mechanism (in line with global best practices) of informing, enlightening and educating Nigerians and the International Community about Nigeria.

Anti-fraud resources: