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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: "ESML" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 12 Apr 2019 04:55:08 -0700
Subject: *** SPAM *** Brief

Sehr geehrter Begünstigter,
Ihre E-Mail-Adresse hat das internationale E-Mail-Wahllotterieprogramm (950.810,00 EUR) gewonnen.Sie sind einer der glücklichen Gewinner des internationalen Lotterieprogramms Madrid Spanien. Öffnen Sie das angehängte Dokument, um Ihr Benachrichtigungsschreiben anzuzeigen, und wenden Sie sich an Frau. Sarah Fritz Suarez, Glückwunsch

Anti-fraud resources: