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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: "Dr. Howard Collins," <>
Date: Thu, 5 Jan 2017 22:12:44 -0800
Subject: Attn: Dear

Attn: Dear

Listen your file appears in my desk this week Through FMF office That
you are among people approved to be paid half of their payment of
USD$5.5M. Signed by the Vice President.

Update us with your full Information,phone number,and full name. I
need your above information,to confirm with the one we have already,
if you are the rightful owner to be paid.

Dr. Howard Collins.

Anti-fraud resources: