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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: Mark THOMPSON <>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 12:35:26 -0700 (PDT)


From: Mr. Mark Thompson

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Dear Friend,

I am Mark Thompson, I have a business proposal of US$10,000,000.00 which I want you to handle with me from my bank as a beneficiary. If you are interested, please send me your full contact information as below and after that I will send to you the details of the business.

Also this matter should be a confidential between you and me and please delete it if you are not interested. You can as well find my personal information below;

Name: Mr. Mark Thompson

Occupation: Banker, Age: 53 years, Country: Burkina Faso, Address: 205 Ave. Kadiogo Rue de Gounghin Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

1. Full name:

2. Current Address:

3. Telephone N°:

4. Occupation:

5. Age:

6. Country:

Thank you for your anticipated co-operation.

Yours Truly

Mark Thompson

Anti-fraud resources: