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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: Olatunji Elvis <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 22 Oct 2011 18:10:05 +0330
Subject: Re: Your Funds Intercepted

Head of Assets Forfeiture and Tax Investigation Unit
EFCC Headquarters
No.5, Fomella Street, Off Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse II
Re: Your Funds Intercepted
We write to inform you that our intelligent monitoring network intercepted a Trunk Box contain funds valued $5.5m USD.  After we have conducted due investigation and verifications, the two men whose name has been withheld for security reasons confessed of been responsible for your inability of receiving your contract inheritance funds.
We have been able to ascertain that these imposters deliberately hindered you from not been able to receive your funds by  conniving with the agents in charge of your funds release by demanding excessive fees for their own selfish reasons.
We intercepted this Trunk Box when they were trying to smuggle it to The United Kingdom and we have deposited the box with our security company.
You are therefore requested to contact Barrister Aaron Wilson via email: to help you process the release of your Trunk Box to you. We trust him to help you to process the release as soon as you open communication with him.
We hope to redeem the image of this country from all the scams perpetrated on innocent people.
Please do not hesitate to email US if there are any further complications for guidelines.
Olatunji Elvis
Head of Assets Forfeiture and Tax Investigation Unit
EFCC Headquarters

Anti-fraud resources: