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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: helen johnson <>
Reply-To: helen johnson <>
Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2014 06:19:07 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Hoping to receive your reply


I am Mrs. Helen Johnson of Canada, Aging widow suffering from long illness. I am currently in a private hospital here in Abidjan Recognize, Ivory Coast, I Have Some funds I inherited from my dear husband of the late Mr. Johnson Canon. Of U.S. $ 9,500, 000.00 All he Kept in one of the banks here, and I want a honest and fear of God to use these funds for God's work and I have set aside 30% for you and your family keep while you donate 70% to the less privilage people,this will be my last wish. There is no risk involved the fund belongs to me and i will send you all the documents as soon as i hear from you.

I will give you more details or full story as soon as i receive your reply as the fund was deposited with a bank in Ivory Coast. Please Can you keep it secret?

may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God be with you and your family Amen?

Hoping to receive your reply. God bless you.

With Regards,
Mrs. Helen Johnson

Anti-fraud resources: