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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: "mary wood" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 22:32:23 -0000
Subject: puppies need a home.

Hello,My Name is Mary Wood, I and my husband are on a Christian Mission to Africa need someone to adopt our 2 Teacup Yorkies and English bulldog needs a home(Katty) is 1.9lbs and while the male(Rolly) is weigh 2lbs,both are 12 weeks old they should be to 3 to 4lb range full grown and (Lula) the bulldog is 13weeks old.
Hope to read from you
Mary wood

Anti-fraud resources: