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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: Lu Zhang <>
Date: 14 Jan 2019 14:16:41 -0500
Subject: Respond urgently

Hello support,

My name is Lu Zhang, I am from china, I was married before i lost my late husband and i have been single ever since, Now i am sick currently receiving treatment in a hospital in Beijing, I have a business proposal for you which is worth about $7.3 Million Dollars and this money is ready to be transferred to any beneficiary of my choice.. Most of this money was made through a joint business with my late husband I decided to send this money to you because of my medical condition and also because my late husband brothers are monitoring all my bank account and will seize the money if it gets to my account.. I need you help in safe guarding this money so you can use it to setup a charity organization to help the less privileged.

I will send a proof of identity in my next email and we can also arrange a meeting at the hospital where I am undergoing cancer treatment.

For helping me i am willing to offer you 25% of the money. Please think about this and get back to me as a matter of urgency and the bank is ready to make transfer within the next few working days.

I wait your reply. Email

Thank you.

Lu Zhang

Anti-fraud resources: