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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. John Thomas" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 22 Dec 2011 22:46:51 -0800
Subject: Compliment Of The Season! Your Winning #: ECWS09788

Attn: Beneficiary

We wish to inform you that after the Ecowas Board meeting today, be glad that your email address has won you the Ecowas E-mail online winning draw with your Winning Number: ECWS09788 in the first winning category A. because the draw was a free ticket online email address sweeptakes which gets you entitled to claim the sum of $8.3 Million Dollars.

And Yes your email address was selected among the the first category winners and that left you as a winner of the Ecowas E-mail online winning draws and sweeptakes programme.The online draws was conducted by a random selection of email addresses from an exclusive list of 29,031E-mail addresses of individuals and corporate bodies. However, no tickets were sold but all email addresses were assigned to different ticket numbers for representation and privacy.

The selection process was carried out through random selection in our computerized email selection machine (TOPAZ) from a database of over 1,000,000 email addresses drawn from all the continents of the world.

To finally ascertain you as a rightful receiver of your winning fund of the $8.3 Million Dollars, you are to contact your claim agent Mrs. Rebbeca Walker on the email address ( for quick transfer/delivery of the fund to you without delay:

1. Full names.
2. Country:
3. Contact Address:
4. Telephone, Mobile and Fax numbers if available:
5. Marital Status.
6. Age/Sex:
7. Amount Won:
8. Winning Email:


I.....................................Hereby Declear that the above data are true in case of any unforseen circustance, my next of kin has the right to claim the total winnings. (Fiduciary agent shall act as my agent in facilitating the transfer/delivery of the total fund to me. DATE: --------------------------

Congratulations once again on your winnings!!!

Looking forward to your swift response.

Yours Faithfully,

Mr.John Thomas

Anti-fraud resources: