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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: "Sophia Thomas" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2020 04:41:09 -0800
Subject: Grant Award of US$5,550,000 to bank account

Ref: UNDP/GAN4307653GT

Good Morning

Please are you the owner of this email address? If yes, then congratulations!

We wish to congratulate and inform you that you have been selected by
the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Development Programme
(UNDP) based in the United Kingdom for a Cash Grant US$5,550,000.00
for your contribution in the educational, business and social
development of your community.

Winners of the Cash Grant award were selected from over 450,000
individuals and companies worldwide, who have actively contributed to
one or more developmental projects in their respective environments in
the past.

Your US$5,550,000.00 Cash Grant compensation will be credited to your
submitted bank account within 3 working days and telex confirmation
forwarded to you and your bankers for confirmation.

For the immediate transfer of the US$5,550,000.00 to your bank
account, kindly contact Mrs. Margaret Alexander today with the below
information for more details and she will give you guidelines on how
to claim your grant award money.

Contact Name: Mrs. Margaret Alexander

E-mail: (OR)

All correspondences to Mrs. Margaret Alexander should have the
reference number: "UNDP/GAN4307653GT" sent along with your Full Names
and Telephone numbers for prompt attention.

Once again Congratulations.

Yours sincerely,

Sophia Thomas
Grant Payment Officer - UNDP

Anti-fraud resources: