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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: "Mrs. Maria Perez" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 5 Jan 2006 16:32:13 +0800
Subject: Unfinised Transaction

Good Day,

I am using this opportunity to thank you for effort to our unfinished transfer of fund into your account,I want to inform you that I have successfully transferred the Cheque out of the company to someone else who was capable of assisting me in this great venture .Due to your effort,sincerity, courage you showed at the course of the transaction I want to compensate you with the sum of ¡ê550,000.00 (Five Hundred And Fifty thousand Great British Pound).

You are to contact the finance house for the collection of the certified bank draft.

Compensation Head Office.
Fredrick Bernard
Telephone Number: (703) 996-9469

At the moment, I am very busy here because of the investment projects I am having at hand. Finally,I have forwarded instruction to the finance house on your behalf to send the bank draft to you as soon as you contact them.

Best Regards,
Mrs. Maria Perez

Anti-fraud resources: