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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. Maria Elena Fernandez" <>
Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2012 00:16:32 +0300
Subject: Greetings in the name of God !!!


Greetings in the name of God !!!

let my letter not be a surprise to you. My name is Mrs. Maria Elena
Fernandez from Philippines. I am a sick woman who has decided to donate
what I have to charity through you. You may be wondering why I chose you.
But someone has to be chosen. I am 35 years old and was diagnosed for
cancer about 2 years ago, immediately after the death of my husband who
had left me everything he worked for when he was working in our Embassy
for nine years before his death .

I am suffering from a long time cancer, which also affected my heart. My
husband and I are Christians, but is quite unfortunately, he died by
poisoning. l will be going in for an operation, and I pray that I survive
the operation.

I have decided to WILL / Donate the sum of $7.3musd (seven million three
hundred thousand U.S.Dollars) to charity through you for the good work of
the lord, and to help the motherless, less privileged and also for the
assistance of the widows. I inherited a total sum of $7.3 million dollars
from my late husband, this money which is concealed in a metallic trunk
box is deposited with a security and finance company here in COTE D'IVOIRE
This deposit was coded under a secret arrangement as a family
treasure.This means that the security company does not know the content of
this trunk box.

Presently, I have informed the security company about my decision in
WILLING this trunk box to you.

I wish you all the best and may the good Lord bless you abundantly, and
please use the funds well and always extend the good work to others. If
you are interested in carrying out this task, I will kindly want you to
write me back for further direction and on how to carry out this task.

I know i have never met you but my mind tells me to do this with you and I
hope you will act sincerely.

Your beloved sister,
Mrs. Maria Elena Fernandez

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