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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: ""<>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 5 Feb 2014 17:57:45 +0100
Subject: Mailing Of Documents

The National Lottery                                                                         February 5th, 2014
P O Box 1010
Liverpool, L70 1N
United Kingdom
How are you and your family? I hope you are all great. I am sure you are not too happy as you have been asked to travel and you probably dont have the funds especially in this time of world economic crisis. I understand if you cant make it to our payment office in London and I know the time frame is too short. I am only acting on instructions from the Director. I have only worked here for a few months and personally, I do not like their procedure of claim for winners from other countries. Winners are made to travel to their payment offices in different parts of Europe. Being a contracted FBI agent for the National Lottery does not make my job any easier and I cannot change or directly influence their policies and methods of claim.
However, I had written several times to the Director of the National Lottery for documents to be sent via courier to winners but they have always been declined but I kept trying. Luckily for you, my request was just approved. The Director however did not allocate any fees for the mailing of the document as he said this would need approval from the Board of Directors of the Lottery and this could take months.
He said you are to get the document at your expense since he is doing you a favor by allowing the documents to be mailed to you without the consent of the Board instead of you having to travel to London. These are high priority documents and should not be toiled with. You could lose your money if these documents get into the wrong hands.
For security reasons, these documents have to be highly insured. People here don't really like me because I am an American Citizen and I am against some of their procedures for claim since I just transferred from a lottery organization in USA. In any American Lottery, all fees are paid by the Lottery including mailing fees such as this but according to the terms and conditions of the National UK Lottery laws, the said fee cannot be taken from the winning sum. The Law states that the sum announced after a draw must be paid to the winner. No fees must be removed. As a result of this, the mailing fee cannot be taken from your winnings. Hopefully, after you get your funds, you would advise them to adopt the American Lottery system of paying all fees from the winnings.
I have contracted Miss Joan Cahill to help send the documents to you. She is my colleague but she is not really a patient woman so you have to bear with her. I don't want you to lose this fund for any reasons so please do adhere to my instructions. It took me weeks of constant complaint to the director before he allowed this today. Don't let my efforts be in vain.  Susa said the cost of insuring and sending the documents is only ($200) and you would have to send the money to her by western union before she can send the documents. She is to use the London Postal Service as mandated by the Coordinator of the National Lottery.
I know it might seem weird having to send money to collect a Lottery win but thats because you cannot make it to London and it can't be deducted from your winning because it will take several months for us to get approval from the Board of Directors and there is a time limit to claim this prize. I am with you here and we shall get through this. I know its not easy to come by this amount due to the high bills we all have to pay but look on the bright side of the amount you won. Take a loan from a friend if you have to because this is worth it. I give you my word that this is not a scam. Its real and I would hate to watch you lose this due to skepticism. I wish I could help but we are not allowed to participate in the Lottery in any form (company policy). These winnings don't come twice in a lifetime so lets not waste this one.
Please do not forward this message to Miss Joan Cahill as I am way out of my line telling you all this.
Look on the bright side, you are not traveling anywhere, you did not purchase a ticket and it would have cost you more than ($200) to get enough tickets to increase your chances of winning. Imagine the courier fee to be the amount you used to purchase the tickets. It would make you feel better if you thought this way because naturally, you should not pay for this but again, if you could come to London, you would not pay for it.  I shall forward your documents to her immediately. I'd be sad if you don't get over $3million because of ($200).To proof my identity, I have attached my American international passport and my Badge. I have nothing to gain from this; rather, I have a lot to lose. My personal details could be used for identity theft but I am willing to take the risk to change your life and those around you.
Please email Miss Joan Cahill on ( ). Tell her you have the ($200) needed for mailing the documents and that you want to inquire on how you can send it to her by western union. Please send her your full names and address for his identification. You can trust her. She works with me and will make sure you receive your documents on time. Please note that this is not compulsory. You also have an option of coming to London. No one said you must make any payments. If you make the payment of ($200) to Joan, you did so because you could not come to London. This is a favor from me and is the only help I can render since I understand the current economic situation. Do not abuse this favor. Make good use of it now. Read the story of &nb
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