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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: Barry McNicholas <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2012 18:51:48 +0000
Subject: (Partnership Investment)

I am Barry McNicholas the chief executive of McNicholas construction company here in London,I am successfully managed the company and Northern Ireland businesses. You should go through my profile you will know me more.

I need your co-operation to transfer the sum of £42,300,000,00 Million (Forty Two Million Three Hundred Thousand British Pounds Sterling) out of United -Kingdom(UK) to your account and invest the fund in the following sectors:oil/Gas, banking, real estate, stock speculation and mining, transportation, health sector and tobacco, Communication Services,Agriculture Forestry & Fishing and more.

I am confident that you will give your consideration to this proposal and respond positively within a short period of time. I am available to discuss this proposal with you and to answer any questions you may have in regard to this fund. As soon as you give your positive response to this proposal, I will not hesitate in sending to you the detailed information of this business.

I look forward to discussing this opportunity further with you.

Please you can reply me in this E-mail

I will be glad to hear from you.

Your Faithfully,
Barry McNicholas
Chief executive

Anti-fraud resources: