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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: Maria Bouchard <>
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2021 03:19:22 -0700

I sent this letter with a prayer so that it reached you with good health,
since I myself i am in a very critical state of health, in which I sleep
every night, not knowing if I can live until the next day. I'm Mrs Maria
Bouchard. And an aging widow suffering from a long Cancer illness. I have
some funds that I inherited from my deceased husband, the amount (15.6
million. Dollars). And I needed a very honest and sincere person, an
individual or cooperating organization that would use this foundation for
the work of humanity,
I want you to take 40% of the total amount of money for personal use. While
60% of the money goes to charity "people on the street and to help the
orphanage. I grew up as an orphan, and I have no one, like my family
member, just to save the house of God. I do this in order so that God will
forgive my sins and take my soul because these diseases have suffered me so
much, My late husband made me realize that it is good to remember and
shelter the poor and the needy ones, He saw me that day when he came, to
visit the Orphanage home at Canton Zurich Switzerland and asked for my hand
in marriage, I have to follow his steps and help the needy,
I do not want a situation where this money will not be used in a Godly way.
That is why I make this decision. I'm not afraid of death, so I know where
I'm going. I know that I will be in the bosom of the Lord. Exodus 14 VS 14
says that "the lord will fight my case, and I will be silent." I do not
need any telephone communication in this regard due to the state of my
health and the presence of relatives of my late husband around me, always
trying to get this money from me, which my husband left for me. I do not
want them to know about this development. With God's help all things are
I found your email address in the personnel department database and decided
to contact you. Please, if you can use the tools for the work of humanity,
as I said here. To fulfill my late husband and my wish please
Try checking the spam box, because most of these matches sometimes fall in
the SPAM folder.Please reply to me immediately via this my personal email
address for security reasons.Thank you.Best wishes,Maria Bouchard

Anti-fraud resources: