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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. Simon Heaton." <>
Date: Wed, 01 Feb 2012 19:21:08 -0600

1 Lime Street,
London EC3M 6,

I wish to inform you that this letter is not a joke mail and I urge you to
treat it serious. We want to transfer the sum of £32,000.000.00{Thirty Two
Million British Pounds sterling} to any safe account with your honest
assistance. I have every possibility for the accumulated proceed to be paid in
your favour and then both of us will share the value equal percentage Can I
trust you on this?

Although, necessary steps has been made regards to this issue confidentially
with key Bank Personnel’s and they have agreed to help if I found honest
and capable person to handle this transaction to enable us transfer the value
Asset out from UK.

I guarantee that this will be executed under a concrete special arrangement
that will protect us from any breach of law. I will not fail to bring to your
notice that this transaction is total hitch-free and you should not entertain
any fear because good arrangement has been outlined for successful conclusion.

If you are willing and capable to handle this business with me in full
confidence & trust, please do not hesitate to Reply me back.

I look forward hearing from you.

Warmest Regards,
Mr. Simon Heaton.

Anti-fraud resources: