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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: Theresa Coleman <>
Date: Sun, 25 Mar 2012 14:33:58 +0100 (BST)
Subject: From: Theresa Coleman.

From: Theresa Coleman.


I am Madam. Theresa Coleman from Israel. I am married to Mr.Raffer Coleman who worked with our Isreali Embassy here in Ivory Coast for nine years before he died in the year 2009 February 14. We were married for eleven years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of $1.5 Million with a Private Finance Vault here in Cote D'lvoire. Presently this money is still in the Vault of the Company.

Recently, My Doctor told me that I would not last for the next Eight months due to my cancer problem. Having known my condition (cancer of the lever and stroke). I decided to donate this fund to a Rabi or any faithful brother or sister that will utilize this fund the way I am going to instruct herein. I want somebody that will use this fund according to my Late. husband desire to help the orphanages, widows , propagating the good news of God and to endeavor that the House of God is maintained and to help lessprivillaged people of God.

I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money. And I don't want in away where this money will be used in an ungodly way. This is why I am taking this decision to hand you over this Fund. I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going. And I don't need any telephone communication in this regards because of my health.I want you to always remember me in your daily prayers because of my up coming Cancer Surgery. Write back as soon as possible, any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another person for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein. Hoping to receive your Urgent and Positive response.

The Joy Of The Lord Is My Strength,

Mrs. Theresa Coleman.

Anti-fraud resources: