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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: "Helen Davies" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 14 Nov 2015 00:12:13 -0800
Subject: **You Have Won 729,280**

This email serves to officially notify you as one of our lucky winners in the Powerball November Promo held on October 21, 2015.
You were automatically entered into this draw after one of your online shopping checkouts and then randomly selected from 10 million global entries. As one of our 20 lucky winners for the month, you are entitled to a total payout of 729,280.00 British pounds.
Please note your processing details below:
Ref No: PWB/2015/NOV/779581
Batch No: PWB/570312
Serial No: 599061
To claim please complete the attached verification form and submit alongside the requested documents (ID and utility bill or bank statement) via email or fax to your claims officer below:
Peter Baker
Tel: (+44) 871 915 7509
Fax: (+44) 844 772 3971
Please ensure to submit all requested documents to avoid delays in your claim processing. Also keep your claim information confidential until all processes are completed. You can also request a cancellation request form if you do not wish to claim.
NOTE: You must be aged above 18 to claim. All claims must be processed by  November 29, 2015. After this date, unclaimed winnings will be considered FORFEITED and returned to the Treasury for next month's rollover.
Helen Davies
Official agents of Powerball International

Anti-fraud resources: