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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: "John Mayson" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2014 09:54:00 -0500
Subject: Congratulations!!!

Have you heard? Apple is celebrating the taking over of BEATs and we are offering Apple iPhone 5S rewards to our customers worldwide. Get your exclusive reward today by contacting our office immediately through our new email given in bracket. ( )
Planetarium Manager

This email message and any attachments are confidential. If you are not the intended recipient, please immediately reply to notify the sender and delete the message from your email system. Please consider the environment before printing this message.
Thank you.
United Way of Greater Rochester

Anti-fraud resources: