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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: "Mrs. Bessel Harris" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2012 12:50:07 -0500
Subject: Attention: Dear User of the Internet

Attention: Dear User of the Internet
How are you today? We hope this mail meets you in a perfect condition. This is a total cash prize of US 50,000,000 Million dollars, given to the first Five (5) people compensated in this world internet programs.
All participants were selected randomly from World Wide Web site through computer draw system and extracted from over 700,000 companies. We are using this opportunity to thank you for using the internet daily.
Due to your effort, using internet daily, we want to compensate you and show our gratitude to you with the sum of $1,000,000.00 Million United States Of America Dollars, We have arranged your payment through our swift card centers, which is the latest instruction from International Monetary Fund Reconciliation Office {IMF}.
The card center will send you an ATM Visa card which you will use to withdraw your money in any ATM machine, Banks and Union Pay Credit outlets in the world; you are hereby selected as an honor for this payment approval, which you are to acknowledge the receipt of this mail to the Logistic Department by email listed below.
Contact Agent. David Martins with below e-mail;
Compensation Office and Logistics Vaults
Contact Agent: David Martins
Phone: +2348033434756
Thanks and God bless you and your family.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Yours Faithfully,
Mrs. Bessel Harris
International Online Lottery Co-ordinator.
2012 World Internet Programs
NOTE: Kindly be informed that recipients shall be liable for the cost of delivery of the Atm visa card.

Anti-fraud resources: