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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: "Ms Carmen Lapointe" <>
Date: Wed, 08 Oct 2014 16:17:55 -0700
Subject: Re: Hello Beneficiary

RE: Beneficiary of $ 2.5 Million USD I pray you receive this letter in good=
condition of health and mind today. I am writing you this message because =
time is now of great essence and it will be in your own good interest if yo=
u accord attention to this letter. I wrote you several times but, you never=
responded lately for a reason I do not know. Irrespective of any circumsta=
nce, courtesy demands that when you receive a message from someone, it is n=
ormal to acknowledge receipt of same by responding even if you are not inte=
rested in whatever the person have got to offer. The reason I am writing yo=
u this message is basically because I have been requested by the Internatio=
nal Monetary Fund (IMF) to give a detailed supervisory report of all benefi=
ciaries $ 2.5 Million USD under my supervision and this includes all those =
who have received their payments so far and those who are yet to get paid. =
So, should you not respond to this message, this might just be the last you=
are hearing from me, because I may be requested to transfer all pending ca=
ses to the office of the Secretary General or the Honorable minister of fin=
ance. I will advice that you respond and let me know your decision in this =
matter or if by 48 hours If I do not hear from you, then--I may consider it=
that you have given me a go ahead to do whatever I deem necessary. Regards=
, Robert Pullman International Reconciliation and Logistics Vaults Internat=
ional Monetary Fund (IMF) Copyright =A9 2014. All rights reserved.

Anti-fraud resources: