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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. Howard Smith" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2014 21:16:43 +0100

Hello my good friend


Good day and how are you today? Hope all is well with you and your family?
I am using this opportunity to inform you that this multi-million-dollar
business has been concluded with the assistance of another partner from
India who financed the transaction to a logical conclusion. Due to your
effort sincerity courage and trust worthiness You showed during the
course of the transaction.I have left ATM Card for you worth of
$1,200,000.00 cashable anywhere in the world.

CONTACT: Mr. Larry Blue
Account Officer, Cotonou,
His email

Therefore you should send him your full Name and telephone number/your
correct mailing address where you want him to send the ATM card to you.
Thanks and God bless you and your

Hoping to hear from you.
Mr. Howard Smith

Anti-fraud resources: