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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: "Dr Melvin Bruno" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2011 07:16:34 -0500
Subject: Past Effort Reward

Dear Friend,

I am happy to inform you about my success in getting your winning funds under the cooperation of a new partner from South Africa. Presently I'm in South Africa for investment projects with my own share of the total sum. Meanwhile, I did not forget your past efforts and attempts to get your winnings despite that failed somehow.

I have made a deposit of $500.000.00 (FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND US DOLLARS) in addition to your lottery winnings of $5.5m now amounting to $6,000,000.00 (Six million United States Dollars) with the Mr.Jack Harris. Now contact the Mr.Jack Harris, Find below his contact information.

NAME: Mr.Jack Harris
TEL: +234-802-777-9277

Ask him to send you the total $6,000,000.00 (SIX MILLION UNITED STATE DOLLARS) certified bank check, which I raised in your favor for your compensation for all the past efforts and attempt in this matter. I really appreciated your efforts at that time.

Secondly, you are hereby advised to stop dealing with some non-officials in the bank as this is an illegal act. You have to stop if you so wish to receive your payment immediately. After the board meeting held at our headquarters, we have resolved in finding a solution to your last unclaimed problem.

Finally, feel free and get in touch with Mr.Jack Harris and give him your address where to send the bank draft check. Please do let me know immediately you receive the funds to enable us share the joy after all the suffering in the past.

Best regards,
Dr. Melvin Bruno

Anti-fraud resources: