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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: "Mr Robert Wilson" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 18 Sep 2015 13:38:58 +0100
Subject: $12.5Million, ATM Master card Payment

Mr Robert Wilson
ATM Head of Operations
United Bank For Africa.
$12.5Million, ATM Master card Payment
Attention Beneficiary:
I am Robert Wilson, ATM Head of Operations Department, United Bank For Africa. I resumed office on the 5th of last month and during my official research last week, I discovered an abandoned ATM Master card valued at $12.5Million with card number 532145212340 belonging to you as the rightful beneficiary.
I tried to know why this card has not been released to you, but was told that the former ATM head of operations who left this office two months ago withheld your card for his own personal use without knowing that I will not approve or support him to take your card.
Now that your ATM Master card is still available for you to pick it up here in our bank, I want to know how you wish to receive your ATM card along with your four digit-pin code.
You can come down here to our bank to pick up your card directly from my office or alternatively it can be sent to your address through any registered reliable courier service company which you will take care of the courier charges.  I don't know the cost of shipping the card to you, but if you permit me I will go to the courier shipment company to find out the cost, but in that regard, you will be required to forward to me your shipment address to enable me find out the shipment cost to your location.
Your direct telephone number and address will be needed and more details about your ATM card payment will be made known to you as soon as I receive your swift positive response to enable you know the amount programmed for your ATM daily withdrawal.
Thanks For your anticipated co-operation and understanding. We will serve You better.
Yours Faithfully,
Mr Robert Wilson,
United Bank Of Africa.

Anti-fraud resources: