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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:

Date: Sun, 19 May 2013 05:34:06 +0800
Subject: I'm Syrian little girl a war victim

I'm Syrian little girl a war victim. please if you know how to help me,please
do urgently.I need your help after my parents and little brother was killed.
I've discovered documents that my parents has deposited 18.5 Million Pounds
for investment in Europe.This fund can give me new hope to survive.I need you
to assist me receive the funds so that I will come over to your country and
live. My condition is ugly and don't know how to explain it,it's traumatic!
please help!
Yours Sarina

Anti-fraud resources: