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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: Melissa Richardson <>
Date: Sat, 9 Apr 2022 12:23:00 +0000
Subject: can i confide in you?

dear trusting friend in god,

this is mrs. melissa richardson from london, 58 years an aging widow
suffering from long time illness. i have the sum of $17.5m for you to
use the fund for god’s work. i found your e-mail address as a real
child of god for over a month now that i have been praying about you
to know if really you are working according to the direction of god so
after all my prayers i am convince, and i have decided to contact you,
please if you would be able to use the funds for the lord’s work, with
trust reply me with this e-mail address: ( )

yours in the lord
mrs. melissa richardson.

Anti-fraud resources: