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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: "People of Bukavu" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 3 May 2017 23:46:01 +0100
Subject: Kindly Help Us

Dear Sir,

I hope my email finds you well.

I write to you today on behalf of the good People of Bukavu.

Bukavu is a city in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo lying at the extreme south-western edge of Lake Kivu, and mineral trade has been our ancient means of survival.

Our objective of contacting you is to inquire if you or your company can assist us supply food to our community.

We shall make an upfront (cash) payment for cost and shipment before your supply.

Please note that your assistance will save lives over here.


Joseph Kasongo
People of Bukavu

Anti-fraud resources: