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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: "Angela Byrnes" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sun, 1 May 2016 17:00:58 -0700
Subject: **** You Have Won 587,920 ****

This email serves to officially inform you that you have won in the Powerball May Promo held on April 14, 2016.
Players are automatically entered into this draw through afiliated online shopping checkouts and then the winners randomly selected from the millions of global entries. As one of the 20 lucky winners for the month, you are entitled to a total payout of 587,920 British pounds.
Please note your details below:
Ref No: PWB/2016/MAY/95126
Batch No: PWB/34109
Serial No: 511758
To claim please complete the attached verification form and ensure to include the requested documents (a valid ID and a recent utility bill or bank statement) via email or fax to your claims officer below:
Peter Baker
Fax: (+44) 844 772 3971
Please ensure to submit all requested documents to avoid delays in your claim processing. We usually get a few cases of impersonation, so please also ensure to keep your claim information confidential until all processes have been 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  May 28, 2016. After this date, unclaimed winnings will be considered FORFEITED and returned to the Treasury for next month's rollover.
Angela Byrnes
Official agents of Powerball International

Anti-fraud resources: