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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.

Click here to report a problem with this page.



Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:

Fraud email example:

From: "Secret Shopper®" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2014 10:42:37 -0400
Subject: *Mystery Shopper® Job Available* Apply and Get Paid Weekly!

We have a mystery shopping assignment in your area and we would like
you to participate Secret Shopper® is accepting applications for
qualified individuals to become mystery shoppers. It's fun and
rewarding, and we choose when and where we want you to shop. You
are never obligated to accept an assignment. There is no charge to
become a shopper and you do not need previous experience. After you
sign up, you will have access to training materials via e-mail, fax or
postal mail.

Secret Shopper® is the premier mystery shopping company, serving
clients across America and Canada with over 500,000shoppers available
and ready to help businesses better serve their customers. Continual
investment in the latestinternet and communication technologies
coupled with over 16 years of know-how means working with Secret
Shopper® is asatisfying and rewarding experience. Secret shopping as
seen on ABC NEWS, NBC NEWS, L.A.TIMES. Stores and organizationssuch as
The Gap, Walmart, Pizza Hut, and Banks. One amongst many others pay
for Secret Shoppers to shop in their establishments and report their
experiences. On top of being paid for shopping you are also allowed to
keep purchasesfor free. Secret Shopper® NEVER charge fees to the
shopper. Training, tips for improvement, and shopping opportunitiesare
provided free to registered shoppers. Mystery shoppers are either paid
a pre-arranged fee for a particular shop, a reimbursement for a
purchase or a combination of both. Secret Shopper® has available for
immediate assignment an inspection of the customer service of any
Wal-Mart in your area. You are to shop secretly and invest just a
token. This fee will be paid up front. During this shop you will visit
the location and make several observations as regards the customer
service. You will be required to interact with the shop clerk. You may
conduct the shop alone or as a couple. The assignment will pay $150 -
$300.00 per duty, depends on the amount of assignment.

Kindly Fill Out the application form below and we will get back to you
shortly with the assignment:


First Name:
Middle Name:
Last Name:
Street Address (No P.O.Box):
Zip Code:
Cell Phone Number:
Home Phone Number:
Name of Bank:

We await your urgent response, Thank you for your help. We look
forward to working with you.

Eric Owen,
Secret Shopper®

Anti-fraud resources: