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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: Mrs Aisha Yacouba <>
Date: Fri, 8 Feb 2013 23:41:10 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Dear Partner,

Dear Partner,

I know you will be amazed to read from me, but please consider this letter as a request from a widow in need of your help i am Mrs. Aisha Yacouba, the wife of the late Mr. Yacouba Zerbo. Formal manager of EZOCS SHIPPING COMPANY, I need your assistance to help me transfer this sun of USD$20Million, (Twenty million United States Dollars) into your account in your country please. I want you to get back to me immediately if you willing to assist me.

Best Regards
Mrs. Aisha Yacouba

Anti-fraud resources: