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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: "STEVEN BAYLOR" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2017 16:36:09 -0700
Subject: Your Atm Card Is Ready For Delevery

Attention please here by inform you that we have processed your payment and your ATM CARD is ready for disbursement. Please understand that your fund is not in liquid form but in a Universal ATM card; this advice complies with the Anti-Fraud section 2, sub section (IV) of the procedural manual of the funds disbursement agreement existing between International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Nigeria Government. We have concluded delivery arrangement with DHL to oversee the delivery of the ATM card to your doorstep within 48hrs, and DHL will charge our account for delivery of your ATM card. All we need from you is the ATM card activation fee of $45, to enable us activate your ATM card, so that you will start using the ATM card immediately you receive it. In order to help us serve you better and expeditiously, you are requested to send the activation fee through Western Union or Money Gram to the below information: Receiver: …Okoye ..Cyril City:………Lagos Country:… Nigeria Question:…COLOR? Answer:……BLUE Amount:…$45MTCN:………………… Your ATM card will be dispatched within 2hrs we confirmed your payment, at the same time, mail a new invoice to you with the tracking number, you can tracking your shipment/ATM card online in 48 hours since you received it. Please write down your real and correct name and shipping address, including the postal code and your phone number carefully and completely after the payment of $45 because we will not be responsible for those unsuccessfully delivery caused by the incorrect customer name and shipping address. I eagerly wait your response. IMF Director, African Department Tel + 234 22266628

Anti-fraud resources: