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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\. Richmond Williams" <>
Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 04:21:03 +0000
Subject: VERY URGET.






Dear sir/madam

I am Mr. Richmond Williams a British citizen working with a Security/finance company in the United Kingdom where I am currently the assistant principal officer attached to Investment/records department.

By virtue of my position, I am privileged to a very confidential information about a deposited funds amounting to $18.5m USD (EIGHTEEN MILLION,FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS) domicile in an account owned by a south African nationalist, Mr. Collins Mzizi who have been confirmed dead from a very reliable source back home, unknown to the management of my firm.

The interesting thing here is that there is no beneficiary or next of kin attached to the funds and this implies that no one would ever come and claim the funds. My intention therefore is to seek for a serious minded beneficiary to process this fund as the beneficiary/next of kin into his account before it gets to the knowledge of my top management staff who will confiscate the funds for there personal use. I would make sure I provide all necessary documents to present you as the beneficiary/next of kin to the late Collins Mzizi, so you do not have to worry at all. Against this backdrop, my suggestion to you is that I will like you as a foreigner to stand as the next of kin to the late Collins Mzizi so that you will be able to receive his funds, and thereafter you would be compensated.

Furthermore, I wish to inform you that there would be a reward for you after we have successfully concluded this project,30% of the amount would be given to you and the remaining 70% would be shared among me and a few other officials in my firm.

Please if you are interested, send me your name and contact details immediately via my email; so I can give you further details regarding this project, upon receipt of your mail stating your willingness to be of assistance, I would send you my contact details so we can discuss verbally.

Best Regard

Mr. Richmond Williams.

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