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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: "=?ISO-8859-1?Q?MicroSoft=20Corporations=AE?=" <>
Date: Sun, 3 Apr 2011 20:35:47 -0300
Subject: Certified Winner {Reference No: UK/9420X/05}

British Lottery Sweepstakes Promotion,
Customer Service.
Your Batch No: 074/05/ZY369
Your Reference No: UK/9420X/05


We are pleased to inform you of the release of the long awaited results
of Sweepstakes promotion organized by Microsoft Corporations, in
conjunction with the FOUNDATION FOR THE PROMOTION OF SOFTWARE products,
(F.P.S.) held this April 2011, in London. Where in your email address
emerged as one of the online Winning emails in the 1st category and
therefore attracted a cash award of 550,000.00 GBP and a Toshiba laptop. To begin your claim, do file
for the release of your winning by contacting our Foreign Transfer
Manager with your details as listed below.

{Foreign Transfer Manager}
Mr. Parry Cole
Tel: +44 704-571-0545

1. Full Name:
2. Full Address:
3. Marital Status:
4. Occupation:
5. Age:
6. Sex:
7. Nationality:
8. Country of Residence:
9. Telephone Number:

Mrs. Rose Patrick
Co-ordinator British Lottery Board

Anti-fraud resources: