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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: "Mrs. Elizabeth M. Maher" <>
Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2023 16:57:07 -0700


Unclaimed Funds ($4.2 Million)

Dear Fund Beneficiary:

This is to inform you that we received the sum of Four Million, two
Hundred thousand U.S dollars from the IMF as unclaimed funds. The
said fund was awarded to you by the United Nations (UN) together with
the International Monetary Funds (IMF) under the Victim Compensation
Fund program.

Secondly, we received an email from Dr. John R. Jones who claimed to
be your personal doctor. He informed us about your recent conditions
and has promised to send your lawyer's contact details for change of
fund ownership. However, it is very sad to hear such bad news.

Moreover, I want to confirm if you truly suffer from Diabetic
Ketoacidosis and might not survive it according to your doctor. If I
didn't hear from you after 3 days, I shall assume the information to
be true, thus grant his request. If this was false, kindly contact Mr.
Mark Ruben, the fund transfer agent and reconfirm your details as

Contact Person: Mr. Mark Ruben

Full Name.........
Home/Office Address....
Phone Number......
Valid ID Card...

Urgent response is anticipated.

Thank you,

Mrs. Elizabeth M. Maher
New Jersey State Treasurer

Anti-fraud resources: