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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: "Sally Hanson" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 27 Jun 2015 01:00:02 -0700
Subject: ***You Have Won 1,475,167***

This is to formally notify you as one of our lucky winners in the Thunderball June Promo held on May 27, 2015.
You were automatically entered into this draw after one of your recent online shopping checkouts and then randomly selected from 1 million global entries. As one of our 10 lucky winners, you are entitled to a total payout of 1,475,167.00 British pounds only.
Please note your processing details below:
Ref No: THB/2015/JUN/64915
Batch No: THB/71905
Serial No: 277581
If you wish to claim, please complete the attached verification form alongside the requested documents (ID and utility bill or bank statement) and email or fax to your claims officer below to begin all processes:
Joseph Stark
Tel: (+44) 871 915 7509
Fax: (+44) 844 772 3971
Please ensure to keep this information confidential until all processes have been completed. Please also provide your current and alternative email addresses. If you do not wish to claim, please return the attached cancellation request.
NOTE: You must be aged above 18 to claim. All claims must be processed by  July 5, 2015. After this date, if unclaimed, it will be considered as FORFEITED.
Sally Hanson
On behalf of Thuderball International

Anti-fraud resources: