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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: "Mrs. Maureen Debby." (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 3 Mar 2012 17:13:06 -0600
Subject: Congratulations...

Message from the desk of vice President International Lottery Commission,
Promotions/ Prize/ Award Department.

Date: 03/03/2012.

Dear Winner,

I couldn't believe my self when I discovered that you have not received your winning prize payment which your email ID won for you in our computer Balloting program last year. I was full of surprises because I found no good reason why your winning prize payment should be remaining on hold till now. Well, accept my apology for the delay and damages this might have caused you so far. Be inform that we have converted your payment sum of ($1.5 Million United State Dollars) through wire transfer.

I used my position to program your payment through this method to avert stoppage of your payment anymore. Please contact the AGENT IN CHARGE OF YOUR PAYMENT. All you need to do is to send the needed information below to the agent.

Contact person: Agent Ken Duke.
Contact Email address:
Contact Telephone: +447 011 121 823

I am presently out of the country on special assignment and i will be back in next month. The agent is waiting to confirm the details from you to enable him proceed.

Best Regards,

Mrs. Maureen Debby.

Congratulations once again from all our staff.
(Lottery CEO-coordinator) International Lottery commission.

Anti-fraud resources: