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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. ZAHRA YANKSON" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 7 Aug 2013 18:09:28 -0500
Subject: Re: Please Reply.

My Dear,

Please pardon me with this message because Life has pursed me to contact you, I am a Ghanaian and my husband is from Australia, we base in Rivers State located at the Eastern part of Nigeria and my husband works in Oil Company as offshore driller. We have lived happily with two children (my daughter Britney and my son Big Shawn), my daughter was kidnapped by the militants and they requested huge ransom of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars US$150,000.00 from my husband, which was not easy for us but my husband managed to raise the money in order to safe the life of my daughter, after the settlement my daughter was released and my husband was able to recognize one of the militants and we arrested him, during the court case his group threaten the life of my husband secretary and my husband was shut last-week Friday evening on his way back from work.

My whole world is finished; I have to relocate for the security of my children because this country Nigeria is not a safe place. With tears in my eyes i write you this message seeking your help to clear my husband’s security deposit in UK, looking at my present situation i am left with nothing and i cannot travel without my children for the safety of their Life in this wicked country. Also, the security firm will not release my husbands deposit to me without legal processes of vital back-up documents (Affidavit, Death Certificate, Family Declaration of Lost and Original Deposit Certified Copy). It will be easier for you to clear the security deposit as my husbands business partner because i have Original Deposit Certified Copy and i can secure affidavit in your favor, also i will notify the security company that my husband is seriously ill and we need the money urgently to finance his ongoing projects.

I honestly cannot declare to the security firm that my husband is late because they will use that opportunity to swindle me and embezzle part of my husband’s security deposit while demanding for series of documents. I need your urgent help and i promise you will benefit a lot from me in future. I shall brief you the amount involved and also indicate your benefit when you return this message for confidential use. Thank you so much may God bless you in anticipation of your urgent help for the safety of my life and that of my children. Kindly reply directly to my private email:

Yours faithfully,


Anti-fraud resources: