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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: Andrew Thomas <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2014 10:36:57 +0000
Subject: ATTENTION............ OF TRUST

Good day

I am Andrew Thomas I work in a bank in the United Kingdom. I will need
your assistance in this business transaction. I will need your assistance
in applying for the next of kin to my late customer, who died of cancer
after some years of struggling with this disease..

He was a wealthy Business man who deposited a huge amount in our bank.
He died without any registered next of kin as he was a divorcee and had no
child. On your confirmation of this message and indicating your interest,
I will furnish you with more details.

Please endeavor to provide me the following in your reply:

1.Your Full Name:................
2.Your Contact Address:...........
3.Your Profession:...............
4.Your Age:.......................
5.Your Phone:....................

I urgently hope to get your response as soon as possible.

Yours Sincerely,
Mr. Andrew Thomas

Anti-fraud resources: