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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: Alex Onyeka <>
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2012 08:17:49 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Atm Card Number: 9168763144035074.

Atm Card Number: 9168763144035074.

                                          SWIFT CREDIT CARD.
This is to officially inform you that your (ATM Card Number: 9168763144035074) has been accredited in your favor.
Your Personal Identification Number is 2900.
Your ATM Card Value with the $6.8MILLION USD.
You are hereby please advice to contact oceanic Banque PLC managing director, With Details Below:
Contact Person: Dr. Mark Davis
Office Number: +229-9784-8171
Treat very urgently as we also remind you that your ATM Card is ready.
NOTE: The total Amount of $6.8 million have been credited into the Card,so as soon as you respond to us we will proceed in sending the A.T.M CARD to you Via any choice of the above delivery company. And you can then withdraw from any A.T.M Centre any where in the world,the total amount that you can withdraw per day is the sum of $15,000 dollars only.
Best Regards,
Mr.Williams Barker.
Manager of Oceanic Banque,
Benin Repu.
For assistance or further enquiry, please call our support personnel on the following numbers: +229-9784-8171 (IT Helpdesk)

Anti-fraud resources: