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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: "MARY JAMES" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2012 14:53:26 -0400
Subject: I WILL HELP!

Dear Sir/Madam,

My name is Mary James I'm 75yrs old, a USA Citizen. I am good merchandise, I have several industries & companies and good share in various Banks in the World. I

spent all my life on investment and co-operate business. All the way I lost my husband and two beautiful kids in fatal accident that occurred in November 5th


I am a very greedy woman with all cost I don't know much and care about people, since when I have an experience of my difficult to sleep and give rest. Later in

the year 2012 February I was sent a letter of medical checkup, as my personal Doctor testify that I had a lung cancer, which can easily take off my life soon. I

found it uneasy to survive myself, because a lot of investment cannot be run and manage by me again. I quickly call up a chancellor to give me positive thinking

on this solution, as my adviser. He ministered to me to share my properties ,wealth, to motherless baby, orphanage homes, people that need money for survivor

both student that need money, business woman and man for their investment and for future rising.

So therefore I am writing this letter to people who are really need help from me both student in college, to contact me urgently. So that I can make available

preparation on that, especially women of the day, who are divorced by their husband, why they cannot survive the means of feeding themselves.
Please contact me and stop weeping. Probably let me know what you really need the money for, and if you can still help me to distribute money to nearest

orphanages homes near your town. Now am so much with God,am now born again. May the lord bless you, as you reach me, please to remind you? I will give more

information to you as I await your response immediately.

Best Regards,

Mrs. Mary James.

Anti-fraud resources: