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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: "Steve Woods" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2016 12:37:29 -0300
Subject: Structured Investment Request


Hope this email finds you well. I am contacting you because I have need for your urgent cooperation. I am representing a family
that has given me the mandate to help find a reasonable and profitable investment structure. They have just inherited huge fund
from their predecessor, and they have agreed to invest this money in the next 10 years for a good Return On Investment(ROI).
I have been given authority to appoint a reliable international investor to invest this fund so I need to be sure that I can trust
whoever I am presenting to the family.

I am working hand in hand with a financial expert/compliance officer who will guide us through a certified and legal process.
The amount in question is a (huge amount),I want to present you as a foreign investor and authorize for the money to be moved
to you in your country. You will be given full authority to handle the investment and the profit after investments will be shared
between you and the family that owns the funds.

I need someone I can trust and I need to be assured on my following concerns; Can I trust you with the fund? .

Best Regards,

Steve Woods

Anti-fraud resources: