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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: Luis D <>
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2014 06:01:40 -0700
Subject: CONGRATS!!!

>From Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) conjunction with
Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the European Union (EU),
have verified your Unclaimed funds and found out why you have not received
your payment is because you have not fulfilled the obligation given to you
in respect of your Unclaimed payment.

We have offered you a compensation of US$820,000.00 Eight Hundred and
Twenty Thousand United States Dollars Cash. Contact Mr. Williams Jacob to
receive your fund by sending him your full name and your home contact
address, Telephone number. Below is his details.

Name: Mr. Williams Jacob
Telephone +27-83-879-5528.

Thanks for your Co-operation

Mrs. Fernando Weza
(Accountant General)

Anti-fraud resources: