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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: "Microsoft Promotions" <>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2012 20:21:22 -0300
Subject: Congratulations!!!!Winner


This 28th day of March 2012, the entire staff of Microsoft Corporation
(Promotion Department) wish to inform you that you have just been selected
as a lucky winner from the Microsoft Mid-Year email draws that is usually
held twice in every year.

Microsoft Corporation organize this promotion offer in other to compensate
consumers of the product in the world at large for their infinite supports
towards the growth of the company.

Hence you have won $1,900,000 USD (One Million Nine Hundred Thousand
Dollars) and you are expected to fill and send back the following
following for claims:

Full Name.............
Marital Status........
Telephone Numbers.....


Congratulations!! Once again.

Yours in service,
The Award Team
(Microsoft Corporation)

Anti-fraud resources: