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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 Brown <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 22 May 2014 23:15:23 +1200
Subject: Respond Now

This is to let you know that the corrupt officials in Nigeria who you have
been sending money to has been arrested so therefore that the federal
government of Nigeria has  agreed to give you $5m for all your loss and
Again you are only to pay $450 for the release of your fund if you have
agreed to pay then you can send the below details now for quick transfer.
1 Your Full Name
2 Phone Number
3 Occupation
4 Bank Name and Account Number.
Mr Brown

Anti-fraud resources: