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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: "Steve Brown" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2013 22:24:53 -0600
Subject: Dear Beneficiary,

Prime Minister's Office,
Carre Nr 150 Vedoko,
Cotonou, Benin Republic
Our ref: EGA-00282-13

Dear Beneficiary,
This is to inform you that Your E-mail address has won you the sum of $1,000,000.00 (One Million Us Dollars) at the Ecowas Grant Award. NOTE:
no ticket was sold as winners were selected from a Data Base of 50,000,000 valid email addresses of active Internet Users around the

Your Email Address with Reference Number:(ECOG/875/20) came out as one of the Five (5) winning coupon which subsequently won you the sum of
$1,000,000.00 (One Million Great US Dollars). For claims Please Contact; Sir. Jean Dalmont (Ecowas Finance minister) on the following E-mail: and furnish him with the following information:

Your Name:, Address:, Telephone:, Age:, Nationality, Occupation:.
Congratulations once again from all of us at Ecowas Grant Award.

Steve Brown
Coordinator, Ecowas Grant Award
+229 66 485 244

Anti-fraud resources: