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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: Elizabeth Wilson <>
Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2014 18:35:34 +0100
Subject: =?UTF-8?B?RnJvbSBNcnMuIEVsaXphYmV0aCBXaWxzb24s4oCP?=

Greeting My Dear Friend,

My name is Mrs. Elizabeth Wilson, from Texas USA. I lived in Africa for
many years and now currently hospitalized in a private hospital here
in Benin republic in Africa as a result of brain cancer.

My purpose of writing you is because I was led by the spirit of God to
offer you the money that I have in my private account in Africa now
that is clear that I’m approaching the last days of my life.

I’m 70 year old and may not even need the money again for any thing.
I’m offering you the sum of $8.5 million us dollars as a donation for
the work of God and charity.May the good Lord bless you for the work
you are doing already and may he give you wisdom to continue it.

I will reveal further information / details to you as soon as I
receive your positive reply in my private email address
( Have a nice day and God be with you.

Mrs. Elizabeth Wilson,

Anti-fraud resources: