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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: "Costco Wholesale UK LTD" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2017 08:30:42 +0100

Dear Sir/Madam
I would like to start off by wishing you a very Happy New Year from all of us here at Costco. I hope everyone had a fantastic break and wish you all the best for 2017.
My name is Lee Clark, purchasing manager for Costco Wholesale UK LTD registered in England. We put a particular interest in your products and company as supplier.If our payment term is acceptable, We would like to have more information about your products{offers} and company if possible.
Our payment term is based on 30 days net payment End of month with payment method bank transfer to your company bank account.
We are looking forward to hear from you. Please feel free to Email me directly at  .   
Best regards,
Mr Lee Clark
Category Director
Purchasing Manager
Costco Wholesale UK Ltd
Registered in England 
Number 2635489
Costco Wholesale UK Ltd is registered in England with number 2635489, VAT No. GB 650 1862 52. The registered office of the company is situated at Hartspring Lane, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD25 8JS. This email and any attachments are intended for the addressee(s) only and may be confidential.
If you are not the intended recipient, please inform the sender by replying to the email that you have received in error and then destroy the email.
If you are not the intended recipient, you must not use, disclose, copy or rely on the email or its attachments in any way.

Anti-fraud resources: