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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: "Laurens Vis" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2012 13:28:11 -0400
Subject: Your Payment Notification

TELEPHONE: Tel: +447011137826

>From the Desk Of Dr. Laurens Vis
Office Of The Director
British finance monitoring unit

Be inform that it has come to our notice that a huge sum of money has been credited in your name for transfer and is currently floating in our data base.

Under the stipulated Law of the Government of Great Britain and other member countries of the United Nations, any huge amount of money that has been found in the international computer data system waiting to be transferred without claims for a period of 6 months shall be confiscated and forfeited to the United Nations account.

We do hereby ask you to contact this office immediately with your Full Names/Contact Address/Occupation/international Passport or Driver's license/Telephone and Fax Numbers for the release of your funds within the 3 days of this notice or consider your fund confiscated.

We appreciate your urgent co-operation.

Sincerely yours,
Dr. Laurens Vis
British Finance Monitoring Unit.

[This e-mail contains confidential information intended only for the addressee(s). Information in or attached to it may be privileged,confidential or protected by law. If you are not the addressee (or a person responsible for delivering this transmission to the addressee) you are strictly prohibited from reading, copying, disseminating or
distributing it. If you have received this e-mail in error please delete it and any attachments from your system and destroy any print outs you may have made. Thank you

Anti-fraud resources: