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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: "National Gaming Board" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 23:57:15 -0000
Subject: Urgent Update!

Dear Winner,

We will like to inform you that there has been recent reports of stolen prizes and lost prizes.
We are making frantic efforts to address the situation, however due to the fact that the status
of your prize still appears "UNCLAIMED", we will not be held responsible for any losses.

Please contact Mrs. Catherine Vincent on Email; as soon
as possible to complete your claims process thus avoiding the risk of prize theft.
Send your name, address, occupation and phone number(s) for clearification.

National Gaming Board
Notifications Unit.

Anti-fraud resources: