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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: Rachel Johnson <>
Date: Thu, 25 Jul 2013 12:38:39 +0100 (BST)
Subject: RE: Hello Dear,

Sorry if this message comes to you as a surprise, this is the second time l am contacting you with regards to the undermentioned. I am Mrs. Rachel Johnson. I lost my husband a couple of months ago.

The rebels assassinated him last January during the political uprising. Before his death, he had a foreign account here in Cote d'Ivoire where he made a deposit of (US$12.5 Million Dollars) which he deposited for the purchase of cocoa processing machine and development of another factory before his sudden death.

There is no guarantee of lives and property. I cannot invest this money here any long; despite it have been my late husband’s industrial plans. I want you to do me a favor to receive these funds to a safe account in your country or any safer place as the beneficiary. And 15% out of the total funds will be for your compensation for doing this work for me. I have plans to invest this money in continuation with the investment vision of my late husband, but not in this place again rather in your country.

I have the vision of going into real estate and industrial production. This is my reason for contacting you. Please if you are willing to assist me. Please indicate your interest in replying soonest.

Thanks and best regards.

Mrs. Rachel Johnson.

Anti-fraud resources: