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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. Mario Draghi" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2013 11:33:46 -0500

Attention:  President/Ceo
I am Mr. Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank, I am writing to enlighten you that Economic Policy  of the European Union does not support transfer of huge amount of money outside any European Country without full clearance of the European Central Bank via my office,
However, my office has taken over all the money Transactions like Contract Payments, Fund inheritance, or Lottery Winning originated from any part of Africa and European countries due to delay and corrupt practice of some officials of Apex banks and Security companies.
Subsequently, Your Name/Email address appears as one of the long approved fund beneficiaries, whom their fund was successfully cleared from Terrorist and Money laundry,
You are therefore advised to dissociate from any way you may have been struggling to receive this money no matter your commitment to avoid Misinformation and contact this office, I shall personally disclose and direct transfer of  this fund to you with my office as the president of European Central Bank
Thanks for Your Cooperation.
Mr. Mario Draghi       
The President.ECB
European Central Bank

Anti-fraud resources: