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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: "cheng" <> (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2005 18:58:10 -0500
Subject: Acknowledge My Mail

Mr. Jun Cheng,
Bank Of Korea,
16-1, Yoido-dong,
Seoul 150-873.

Dear Friend
I am Jun Cheng a manager of bills/exchange at the foreign remittance
department of Hanivitbank. In my department, we discovered an abandoned sum
of $44,700,000.00 (Forty Four Million, Seven Hundred Thousand United State
Dollars only) in an account that belonged to one Late Mr Andrew Phillips an
American, who died along with his entire family, on November 1998, in a
ghastly plane crash. Since we got the information about his death, we have
been expecting his next-of-kin to come over and file a claim as next of kin
over his money because we can not release it unless somebody applied for it
as next of kin or relation to the deceased as indicated in our banking
Unfortunately, nobody has come forward to claim this money. It is based on
this that some officials in my department and I have decided to establish a
cordial business relationship with you, hence by contacting you. We want you
to present yourself as the next of kin to Late Mr Andrew Phillips, so that
the funds can be remitted into your account. Moreover, we do not want the
money to go into the government account as unclaimed bills. The banking law
and guidelines
here stipulates that any account abandoned or is dormant for a period of
years, is deemed closed and all money contained therein forfeited to the
government treasury account.
Now, it is being speculated that the above sum will be transferred into
the government account as an unclaimed fund on or before the end of this
financial quarter of 2005, when nobody come forward to lay claims. The
reason for requesting your assistance, is occasioned by, the fact that the
deceased (Late Mr Andrew Phillips) was a foreigner, and we have access to
his detailed bio data which you will hold as a weapon to present yourself as
the next of kin to Late Mr Andrew
The mode of sharing after a successful transfer of the money into your
account, shall be 70% to my colleagues and I, for the role you will be
expected to play in this deal, we have agreed to give you 25% of the total
sum and 5% for the expenses we are going to encounter by the two parties in
the course of this transaction. Therefore,you are expected to reply this
letter indicating your readiness and interest to participate in this
business. After receiving your reply, you will be communicated to with the
exact steps to take. I expect your urgent response and I shall contact you
for further discussion on this matter,to enable us conclude this transaction
urgently without any delay or hitch. Please treat this business proposal as
confidential for security reasons considering my official position in Bank
of Korea.
Personal Regards,
Mr. Jun Cheng

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