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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: "Shotts" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2012 08:01:09 +0200
Subject: please write back

I am Betty Shotts a widow from (Auckland) New Zealand i am a christian suffering from a long time cancer,I am soliciting for your assistance to help me carry out my dream charity work of Four Million Dollars which is currently in a security company,which I couldn’t carry out my self due to my illness.i took out this time to write and earch the internet for a reliable person like you and i beleve you will help me recieve this funds and donate it to the motherless baby homes and charity organisations close to you.
if you are interested reach me for more detail through my email:
Remain blessed
Mrs Betty Shotts

Anti-fraud resources: