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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: Brian Smith Smith <>
Date: Mon, 14 Mar 2005 22:43:38 GMT
Subject: Great Favour


I am Brian Smith Esq, my client is one of the top Managers of  Midland Bank London Branch and his colleague in the same bank here in the United Kingdom have an urgent and very confidential business proposition for you.

On June 6th, 2001, a Chinese business man, Mr. CHOW LIU, deposited in his personal safety deposit vault currency valued at 17,500,000.00 (Seventeen Million, Five Hundred Thousand British Pound Sterling) in my client's branch.

Upon expiration of the period of leasehold of his safety deposit vault Two years ago, my client sent a routine notification to his forwarding address but got no reply. Some months ago,
a reminder was sent and finally it was discovered he had passed away.

On further investigation, it was discovered that he did not leave a WILL and all attempts to trace his next of kin were fruitless. Further investigations revealed that Mr. CHOW LIU did not declare any next-of- kin in all his official documents in my clients' bank.

This sum of 17,500,000.00 is still in the Vault which was opened and the keys changed upon the expiration of the period of leasehold by my clients.

Consequently, my proposal is that my clients will like you as a foreigner to stand in as the next of kin to Mr. CHOW LIU. This is simple. I will like you to provide me immediately with your full names and address so that by virtue of my position as an attorney, I will prepare the necessary documents and affidavits, which will put you in place as the next of kin.

I shall do the drafting and notarization of the WILL and obtain the necessary documents and letter of probate/administration in your favor for the shipment of the funds through a security company to you. The money will be shipped by courier to you for us to share in the ratio of 80% for me and my clients and 20% for you. I hope that is okay.

There is no risk at all as all the paperwork for this transaction will be done by me as an attorney and the position of my client as the Branch Manager guarantees the successful execution of this transaction. If you are interested, please reply immediately via email. If on the other hand you are not interested please disregard this mail and I will not contact you again.

Upon your response, I shall then provide you with my phone number, more details of the transaction and the relevant documents that will help you understand. Please observe utmost confidentiality and be rest assured that this transaction would be most profitable for all of us.

Best regards,
Brian Smith Esq.

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