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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: "Collins Bamah" <> (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2004 19:33:35 +0400
Subject: Business Assistance

Dear Friend,
I am contactimg you for guidance and assistance to enable me secure a profitable investment in your country . I am captain Collins Bamah from the Republic of Liberia and an Accountant by profession.I served in the Audit depertment during my career in the Liberian military Force under president Charles Taylor.
Permit me Sir, that this is my first letter to you and since we have not met or known each other before,this letter should not come as a surprise to you. I have watched closely the investment climate of your country in respect of small and medium scale enterprises and wish to enter into joint partnership agreement with you to invest this money in your chosen field in your Country.
Before President Charles Taylor left office in August 2003,we were given the sum of $120(One Hundred And Twenty Million Dollars) to lobby the delegates of ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) member heads of state to enable him stay in power for more years. A delegation of some countries accepted the money while others did not due to the presence, pressure and intervention of the American Government,the plan failed and President Taylor was forced out of office. He went on exile.
I am now in possession of $37.5(Thirty-Seven Million, And Five Hundred Thousand U.S Dollars) balance not spent which I want to invest abroad. This fund was deposited in a Mortgage Security Firm in Accra,Republic of Ghana, because none of the banks in Liberia would have accepted the money without raising eyebrows on me.After waiting for instructions from President Taylor on what to do with the money,I could not hear from him till this day,probably thinking that we spent all the money given to us.
Meanwhile,I have gotten an approval from the company for the transfer of this money and looking for a foreign partner who will provide his bank account where this fund will be remitted. Since I am in exile,my assylum conditions restricted me from engaging in business and banking transactions. I am also not permitted to travel out side Republic of Ghana without written permission from my host country.
It is due these reasons that I have decided to write and beg you for assistance for the smooth transfer of this fund abroad. I am looking for a reliable partner who can help me safe-guide and invest this money very prudently in any field of his choice.I have set aside thirty per cent of this money for your assistance and five per cent for taxes in your country and other expenses .
Please make suggestions as your opinion is highly required and forward your reply through the e-mail address.Kindly give me your phone and fax numbers as well as your bank informations with which to receive the money through this e-mail address''.I <mailto:address''.I> promise that everything in respect of this transaction will be handled secretly and confidentially.
Thanking you for your kind assistance
Captain Collins Bamah

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