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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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Fraud email example:

From: "John Peters" <> (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 17 Sep 2004 00:56:22 -0700
Subject: Urgent Assistance

Dear Sir/Madam,
First, I must solicit your confidence in this transaction; this is by virtue of its nature as being utterly CONFIDENTIAL and TOP SECRET. Though I know that a transaction of this magnitude will make anyone apprehensive and worried, but I am assuring you that all will be well at the end of the day. We have decided to contact you due to the urgency of this transaction, as we have been reliably informed of your discreteness and ability in a transaction of this nature and in respect of the publication with the guardian newspaper dated, 02/02/00. Let me start by introducing myself properly to you. I am JOHN PETERS, CREDIT OFFICER, with the Union Bank of Nigeria, Plc, Lagos. I came to know of you in my private search for a reliable and reputable person to handle this confidential transaction which involves the transfer of a huge sum of money to a foreign account requiring maximum confidence. THE PROPOSITION: A foreigner, Late DR D. VULYSTEKE an Oil Merchant/Contractor with
the Federal Government of Nigeria, until his death months ago in the Kenyan Airways (A310-300) Flight KQ431, banked with us here at Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Lagos and had a closing account balance as at the end of July, 2000 worth US$18.9M (Eighteen Million, Nine Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) only, which the Bank now expects a next of kin to claim as beneficiary. Valuable efforts have been made by the Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) Plc to get in touch with any of the VULYSTEKE_s family or relatives but to no avail. It is because of the perceived possibility of not being able to locate any of Late DR D. VULYSTEKE_s next of kin (he had no wife nor children that is known to us). The management, under the influence of our Chairman and members of the board of Directors, have arranged for the funds to be declared _Unclaimable_ and subsequently be donated to a special government Trust Fund. In order to avert this negative development, some of my trust
ed colleagues and I now seek your permission to have you stand as next of kin to Late DR D. VULYSTEKE. So that the funds US$18.9M would be released and paid into your account as the beneficiary/next of kin. All documents and proofs to enable you get this fund will be carefully worked out. We have secured from the Probate Registry an order of mandamus as it now stands and more so we are assuring you that this business is 100% hitch free. Your share stays while the rest would be for myself and my colleagues for investment purpose. According to agreement between both parties. As soon as we receive an acknowledgement of receipt of the message in acceptance of our mutual business proposal, we would furnish you with the necessary modalities and disbursement ratio suitable for both parties. If this proposal is acceptable to you, then kindly contact me immediately via E-MAIL. Please furnish me with your most confidential Telephone/Fax number so that I can call you and throw more light on
this issue.
Thanks for your anticipated co-operation.
Yours Faithfully,

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