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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 Howard" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 12 Aug 2017 10:59:53 -0000
Subject: Re: Good To Hear From You

Dear Sir,

My name is Mrs Howard, we have not met before, i got your contact from a reliable source. I am the director in one of children's orphanage home here in Accra Ghana. There is one of my inmate a young boy of 17years old. His both parents has past away, the late father was a director of gold mining company here in Ghana. The late father deposited some amount of money (Millions of US Dollars and kilos of AU Gold Bars) with the boy's name as the only son that incase he dies, they can use the money/gold to bring him up and establish him. I am looking for a foreigner that can adopt the boy, and the fund/gold can also be released to the person.
either a man or woman. I will stand to help with our lawyer, to process the adoption.
I we give you more details upon your response .

Awaiting urgent response.
Mrs Howard

Anti-fraud resources: