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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: HM Revenue and Customs <>
Date: Fri, 8 Sep 2017 20:18:26 +0100
Subject: Pending Tax Refund


Pending Tax Refund


We would like to notify you that you still have an outstanding tax refund of 1,955.04 GB from overpaid tax from year ending 2016, After the last calculation of your fiscal activity, we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of 1,955.04 GB. Requests for refunds are time limited please use the link below to complete your claim online as soon as possible also note the following:
  • Tax Refund ID Number: 380015209
  • Local Office No 9319
  • Refund Amount: 1,955.04 GB
  • Reference No: UK380015209-HMRC
  • We can only process a refund for the tax year we have detailed above
Start Claim ?

We aim to send repayments within 5 - 7 working days, but it may take longer in some cases. You should wait 10 working days before contacting us about your payment.

Note: A refund can be delayed for submitting invalid records or applying after deadline. Our head office address can be found on our website at HM Revenue & Customs.

HM Revenue and Customs
  • Crown Copyright

Anti-fraud resources: