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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: "Mr. Von Heinz" <> (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2004 02:36:30 -0700
Subject: Sincere Partner?

R. Von Heinz
Valiant Privatbank AG
Postfach 3001 Bern, Switzerland

Your response to my barrister John Kelly Esq at



I am contacting you on business transfer of a huge sum of money from a deceased account. Though I know that a transaction of this magnitude will make any one apprehensive and worried, but I am sure that you are experienced in handling this sums.

We decided to contact you due to the urgency of this transaction.


We discovered an abandoned sum of US$29,500,000.00 (Twenty-Nine Million Five Hundred United States dollars) in an account that belongs to one of our foreign customers who paid in these funds into our bank as depository for an investment program she was involved. She was at our bank five(5) months ago at the begining of this investment program, but unfortunately she died.

The details of the investment program states that she and she only is in control of the funds and it was invested out of her corporate estate. Her family records are not stated in our bank records and in her investment program contracts. Thus her family are not aware, incidentally she is a widow

The rules in our bank here in Switzerland puts the money under current Bank Assets as soon as they do not get communication from the accounts owner within a stipulated period agreed during the clients accounts opening. In the case of this customer, she is meant to send banking instructions every three mnoths.

She died months ago and I got to know from my
sources, and her obituary has also stated in the link below:
She has been buried and I know no one knows about
these funds. Since her death, none of her next-of-kin
or relations has come forward to lay claims for this money as the heir. We cannot release the fund from her account unless someone applies for claim as the next-of-kin to the deceased as indicated in our banking

Upon this discovery, we now seek your permission to have you stand as a next of kin to the deceased as all documentations will be carefully worked out by us for the funds (US$29,500,000.00) to be released in
your favour as the beneficiary's next of kin.

It may interest you to know that we have secured from the probate an ORDER OF MADAMUS to locate any of deceased beneficiaries.

Please acknowledge receipt of this message in acceptance of our mutual business endeavour by furnishing the below to my representing Attorney(Barr.John Kelly) at
1. Beneficiary name and address
2. Direct Telephone and fax numbers

These requirements will enable us file letter of claim to the appropriate departments for necessary approvals in your favour before the transfer can be made. We look forward to your suggestions and sharing formula. Your share stays while the rest shall be for us for investment purposes. If this proposal is acceptable by you, we expect that you will not take undue advantage of the trust we have bestowed in you.

I await your urgent mail.

Mr. Von Heinz.

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