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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: Mary Clement <>
Date: Sat, 24 Dec 2011 01:46:59 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Please i need your help from Miss Mary Clement.

Please i need your help from Miss Mary Clement.

My Dearest One,I am Miss Mary Clement, i need you to stand as my guardian to retrieve my inheritance (US $7 Millions Dollars) which I inherited from my father here in Cote D'Ivoire before his assasination for reasons which I will let you know as soon as I hear from you.

Waiting to hear from you my dear one.

Yours Sincerely

Miss Mary Clement.

Anti-fraud resources: