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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. Alan Smith" <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 4 Jun 2016 18:25:57 -0700
Subject: =?utf-8?b?QXR0ZW50aW9uOiBDYXRlZ29yeSDigJxB4oCdIEJlbmVmaWNpYXJ5?=

Ref.: Transfer Payment Approval Notice.
Approved Payment Valued US$8, 100, 000.00.
Payment Reference No.: SANDR/LHO/XXCL975/16.

Dear Sir,

We are pleased to inform you officially that we have on Friday the 15th of May, 2016 received first Installment Credit Order from the Home Office, in association with the International Monetary Fund in your favor valued at US$8, 100, 000.00 (Eight Million One Hundred Thousand US Dollars Only), also note that we have without delays approved an immediate release to your Bank via Swift Telegraphic Wire Transfer.

To this effect, you have been issued with this Exclusive Payment Reference Number SANDR/LHO/XXCL975/16; and you are therefore advised to respond to this payment instruction at once so we shall officially contact you and commence with the immediate transfer of your fund as approved. You are to respond to this payment notice with your full Contact details along with your Payment Reference Number above for an immediate release of your fund. Please note that your immediate response to this Bank is highly imperative.

You are advised to contact the undersigned for further instructions in regards to this payment to enable us serve you better.

Thank you for your anticipated co-operation.

Yours Truly,

Mr. Alan Smith
Private Banking Dept.
Santander Bank Plc, UK.
Direct Line: +44 750 953 0113
Fax: +44 700 601 9305
Registered Office: 2 Triton Square, Regent's Place, London, NW1 3AN, United Kingdom

Anti-fraud resources: