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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: "Sheryl Sandberg" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2018 08:02:28 +0800
Subject: Claim Your Cash Prize With Your Winning Code FBLOTTO:38293/17.

Your Facebook account/name/email was chosen among the WORLDWIDE winners that have won the sum of $1,500,000 USD cash prize given to large Facebook active users appreciated for POSITIVELY using our platform/service for business or personal purposes; thus, this lottery is not limited to a specific COUNTRY or REGION.
Contact the claims agent with code FBLOTTO:38293/17 and your delivery details ASAP.
Name: Mr. Mark Hamilton
Private email:
Congratulations !!!
Sheryl Sandberg,
Chief Operating Officer,
Facebook Inc. 2018

Anti-fraud resources: