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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: "MR Frank Willson" <>
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 2013 21:32:35 -0300

Re: Payment Approval Notification

We wish to inform you that you have been recommended by my Bank, to pay
you the sum of US$2,500,000.00 which is based on the understanding and
current proposed legislative payment agreement.

Our Bank as a member of the financial services compensation scheme
established under the financial services and market act 2000 as at 31 Dec,
The Bank is subjected to pay all outstanding debts within the European
Economic Areas and Deposits denominated in all currencies and treated

To ensure we carry out our normal payment procedures accurately and to
Help in continually improve our services and interest of security; we
Therefore demand that you send your proper identity to confirm your person
As the beneficiary. We shall also require you to confirm your acceptance
to receive funds with the below options .

(1) Bank to bank transfer

Please indicate correct telephone number, address and receiving Bank
details. Any information that is not correct may likely prohibit us from
making transfer. Your information will be treated with utmost security and
shall be used for services related reasons.
contact this email with the above information:(

Yours sincerely,
MR Frank Willson
HSBC Bank Plc

Anti-fraud resources: