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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: Russell Thompson <>
Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2019 22:14:35 +0200
Subject: Greetings to you

Dear Sir/Madam,

There is a genuine need for the investment of a substantial amount in a
secure and stable economy around the world by my client. The investment
aims at tourism and real estate primarily, but will strongly consider
any other business area or offer that can guarantee outstanding fiscal

My name is Russell Thompson, investment adviser to the concerned
persons. The investment fund is already tied down securely as
receivables and will be transferred to your individual/company account
if we accept to work together.

You will only make a lawful change of the original beneficiary names and
address to have the payment officially effected.

Note, that my client is a public office holder cum politician of immense
standing; as such his identity must be jealously guarded and protected
throughout the exercise for obvious reasons.

Let your reaction reach me via email soonest, if you have the
track-record and potentials to receive, invest, and manage large sums
successfully to profitability.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

Mr. Russell Thompson

Anti-fraud resources: