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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: Benin State Government <>
Reply-To: Benin State Government <>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2014 23:48:56 +0000 (UTC)

 Hello Lucky Winner.
This is to inform you that your E-mail is among of the lucky winners from Benin State Government both Canada, UK, USA, Australia, Asia, Africa and globe part of the world.
Ticket No:..... abc1872Code.......008912
Please for customer information keep the ticket number and the code very carefully because we question when the office in-charge will release your prize to avoid any misfortune.
Compensation Prize each US$3,000,000.00
Contact with the below information.
Mr John Mark Okoye Office in-chargeEmail....
Best RegardBenin State GovernmentFederal Office ApproveHon Mark Ottar

Anti-fraud resources: