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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: "Mr. Tony Elumelu" <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 22 Oct 2011 19:51:13 +0300
Subject: How was your weekend?

How was your weekend?

Attention: Beneficiary,

This is to officially inform you that we have verified your contract inheritance file presented on my desk, and I found out that you have not received your payment due to your lack of co-operation and not fulfilling the obligations giving to you in respect to your contract /inheritance payment.

After the board meeting held at our headquarters and also with the approval from the ministry of finance Nigeria, we concluded to send you an ATM MASTER CARD which gives you access to make withdrawals from your total sum of $4.5 Million USD. (Four Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars)

You are to contact the Card centre Official who will send your ATM Master Card along with an official document from the Federal Ministry Of Finance that will contain directions for your card usage.

It is rest assured that you can make withdrawals or purchase of goods with your Master Card from any ATM machine near you or in any part of the world.

To proceed further and for informations on when to expect your card you are to contact the below person with your personal information.

(1) Your Full Name
(2) Direct Delivery Address
(3) Phone And Fax Number


Agent Name: Mr. Patrick Collins

Thanks for your co-operation.

Best Regards,

Mr. Tony Elumelu
Remittance Manager

Anti-fraud resources: