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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: "Todd William" <>
Date: Wed, 11 May 2011 18:49:35 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Reply!!!

Dear friend, I am Todd Williams, A staff of Natwest Bank Plc,U.k.i have a
business proposal of (£18,500,000.00 Million Pounds)for you to handle with
me from my bank.And finally I shall provide you with more details of this
transaction,Please reply to my private email:(
Kind Regards, Todd Williams (ACCOUNT OFFICER)

Anti-fraud resources: