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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: "Mohammed Othman" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 12 May 2011 05:23:54 -0800
Subject: Request for Business Partnership GRPKUMQFMQ

Attention: Friend

Request for Business Partnership

I am a Sunni Arab and a member of a strategic committee in a major
industry in Iran ; I write to seek your partnership in a lucrative oil
business. My ideal partner should be trustworthy, reliable and have the
ability to operate a business in a western nation. You will not be
required to travel to Iran or to leave your country.
I seek your partnership because of an urgent need to move my family out of
Iran as a result of the deteriorating security situation due to the
refusal of the Present Shiite-ruled government to allow democracy and
respect human rights. There is a strong prospect of a civil war if the
government does not yield to the wishes of the people for democracy and
respect of human rights.
To indicate your interest or request more details,please contact me by
Thank you,
Mohammed Othman

Anti-fraud resources: