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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: James Watson <>
Date: Sat, 31 Jul 2021 16:52:16 +0100
Subject: My Dearest Friend

My Dearest Friend

I am very happy to inform you about my success in getting that fund
transferred, Now I want you to contact my secretary on the information

NAME: Mr Francis Mahama

Ask him to send you the total sum of ($1,950,000.00) One Million Nine
Hundred and fifty Thousand usd Cashier's Cheque, which I kept for
your compensation because of your past effort in trying to assist me
in transferring the fund which later fail both of us before I find a
partner from London who assisted me and transferred the fund meanwhile
you can contact my secretary on this Email: and Also Forward Your Name,Current
Address and Your Direct Phone number To him.

Please do let me know immediately you receive the Cashier's Cheque so
that we can share the joy after all the suffering at that time. In the
moment,I am very busy here in London because of the investment
projects which me and my new partner are having at hand.

Yours faithfully.
Mr James Watson

Anti-fraud resources: