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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: Melissa Burley <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2012 04:56:16 +0000
Subject: Your Attention Needed.


My greeting to you! How are you doing? I hope you are fine and good. It's my pleasure to write to you in this medium of time and I know this message is coming to you as a surprise but please kindly accept my apology. I am aware that it is inappropriate for me to contact you in this means without prior knowledge of ourselves but since I don't have any other means I could have reached on you and considering the importance and geographical nature of this matter, I have decided to break the protocol. I am looking for a dependable individual that I can trust, someone who is willing and honest enough to assist me in a very lucrative business opportunity in Malaysia that will generate us much benefits.

Meanwhile, my name is Melissa Burley, I'm from Galway City in Western Ireland and I work at Animal Farm and Veterinary Health Company here in Britain. I'm contacting you for a lucrative business partnership with me to supply our company a Product vaccination in Malaysia for urgent needs for our animals which I believe will generate us much mutual profit if diligently carried and implemented . I shall provide you with every details of this business if you are interested to assist me. Please provide me your full details, as your full name, private email address and your cell phone number in your response so that we can easily communicate much better. Am anticipating to hear from you.

Thanks and best regards.
Yours sincerely,

Anti-fraud resources: