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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: "Mr. Ben Igwe" <>
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2012 00:27:41 +0100
Subject: Re:Contact Now.

My dear friend,

Strictly confidential.

I know this will come to you as a surprise because you do not know me. I
am Mr. Ben Igwe, I work in the Eco-bank Cotonou,

Republic of Benin, West Africa, packaging and courier department.

I got your contact in my search for a honest person, I want you to help me
clear this package that is already in overseas

which I shipped through our eco-bank accredited courier agent but the
contents of the package is ($20,000,000.00) all in

$100.00 bills, belonging to our late costumer who died earlier last year,
but the courier company does not know that it is

money that I have in the package. All I want you to do for me now is to
forward to me this information

Your name
Your current address
Your private phone
Your age
Your occupation

And I hope that at the end of the day, you will have 40% and 60% will be
for me and my colleagues.I have us$10,000 at hand

now to cover the expenses that may occurs during the time of delivery If
this arrangement is okay by you, you can e-mail me

at 229-98140969( for security reasons. Other
modalities will be discussed as soon as you get back to


Yours faithfully,
Mr. Ben Igwe

Anti-fraud resources: