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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: "Shell" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 7 Apr 2012 21:59:21 +0530
Subject: SPD

Shell Petroleum Development Company of England
Shell Centre, London, SE1 7NA - United Kingdom
TEL: +448719150042 FAXMAIL: +447017042675
London W1U 4RY, United Kingdom.

We are pleased to inform you that your email address has won an Award in the Shell Petroleum Development Company Award Anniversary as organized by Shell Inc. held on 06/4/2012 in London, United Kingdom.

Shell Inc. randomly selected 5 email addresses through a computer ballot system to receive an award of $500,000 US dollars each as part of our non-profit philanthropic wing promotion.
The online award draws was conducted from an exclusive list of 25,000 e-mail addresses of individuals and corporate bodies picked by an advanced automated random computer search from the internet. No tickets were sold. After this automated computer ballot, your e-mail address emerged as one of five winners in the category ‘A’ with the following:
Award Reference code: (SHELL568A2012)
File number :( G245)

Awards MUST be claimed by the email owner ONLY. Send your complete personal information with your Award Ref. and File nos. to us to enable us process your claim.
1. Full name:
2. Country:
3. Contact Address:
4. Contact Number:
5. Marital Status:
6. Occupation:
7. Sex:
8. Age:
9. Email:

Dr Alexander Williams
Financial director, shell / India petroleum promotion and compensation
Tel: +448719150042

Do not disclose this to anyone for security reasons until your prize award is successfully handed over to you to avoid disqualification that may arise from double claim.
Please do not reply if you are NOT the owner of this email address.

Congratulations!! Sincerely Yours,
Shell Management
TEL: +448719150042 FAXMAIL: +447017042675
(Prize Administrator)
Copyright 2012 Shell Promo International

Anti-fraud resources: