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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: "simone" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 06:59:09 -0800
Subject: From : Wife of Ivory Coast President (Urgent Response Needed)

Hello Dear

I am Mrs. Simone Gbagbo, Wife of Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo, because of
the political pressure and crisis my husband is currently facing from the US
government and the United Nations in this Country now as result of the November
2010 Presidential Election here in Ivory Coast.

I decided to honestly confide in you to seek your co-operation to receive the lump sum
of $13million US Dollars as a consignment through diplomatic means via a security depository company which has being packaged in a consignment as a personal effect to be shipped to you for safe keeping pending my arrival as soon as you consent to this opportunity.

I am contacting you now based on confidence and trust I have for you to assist me
On this ample opportunity and I wait your sincere and genuine considerations to this proposal to enable me give you further information and the arrangement in place.

Note: Kindly keep this transaction as top confidential until it is successfully
concluded as I wait your urgent response as regards to this message.
Yours sincerely,

(Mrs. Simone Gbagbo)

Anti-fraud resources: