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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. Thomas Williams" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2012 12:30:16 -0700
Subject: your winning funds total amount of $1.5Million USD


I have contacted you because I've sent you the first payment of $5,000
today from your winning funds total amount of $1.5Million USD,Therefore
you need to contact western union agent Mr,Jerry Micheal, for him to give you
the transfer payment information and MTCN.

Agent: Mr, Jerry Micheal
Phone: +229 99004742

Please try to contact him today for him to forward the payment information
to you, Remember to Indicate the registration code of EB-2520 to him when
e-mailing or calling him, Also he will be sending you $5,000.00 daily as
per my discussion with him before you reply try to copy
this e-mail,, or call our phone +229 9900 4742

Do get in touch with me once you have Received the transfer.

Mr. Thomas Williams
IMF Managing Dir. Benin Rep.

Anti-fraud resources: