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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: Joan Welsh <>
Date: Sun, 17 Nov 2013 00:25:22 +0100
Subject: You have a pending compensation

I am Dr. Joan Welsh, a US citizen, 48 years old. I am one of those
that took part in the compensation in Nigeria many years ago and they
refused to pay me, I had paid over $20,000 while in the US, trying to
get my payment all to no avail. So I decided to travel over to Nigeria
with all my compensation documents, and I was directed to meet Mr.
Michael Craig, who is a member of COMPENSATION AWARD COMMITTEE, and I
contacted him and he explained everything to me. He said whoever is
contacting us through emails are fake. He took me to the paying bank
for the claim of my Compensation payment.
Right now I have received my compensation funds of $1,500,000.00
Moreover, Mr. Michael Craig, showed me the full information of those
that are yet to receive their payments and I saw your email address as
one of the beneficiaries, that is why I decided to email you to stop
dealing with those people, they are not with your fund, they are only
making money out of you.

I will advise you to contact Mr. Michael Craig directly through the
below information.


Name: Mr. Michael Craig
Tel: +234-802-297-1447

You really have to stop dealing with those people that are contacting
you and telling you that your fund is with them, it is not in anyway
with them, they are only taking advantage of you and they will dry you
up until you have nothing. The only money I paid after I met Mr.
Michael Craig was just $420 for the paper works, take note of that.

Thank You and Be Blessed.

Joan Welsh MD
Childrens Hospital Outpatnt Ctr
Columbia, SC 29203

Anti-fraud resources: