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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: "Stephen Ayling" <>
Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 01:03:10 -1200

My name is Stephen Ayling, I am the credit manager in a bank
here in the
United Kingdom. I am contacting you of a 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 assuring you
that everything has been taken care off, and all will be
well at the end of
the day. I decided to contact you due to the urgency of this
PROPOSITION; I am the account officer of a foreigner named
Richard Burson who
died in an air crash along with his wife on the 31st October
1999 in an
Egyptian airline 990 with other passengers on board. You can
confirm this
from the website below which was published by BBC WORLD
his death, none
of his next-of-kin are alive to make claims for this money
as his heir,
because they all died in the same accident himself and his
wife(May their
soul rest in peace). We cannot release the fund from his
account unless
someone applies for claim as the next-of-kin to the deceased
as indicated in
our banking guidelines.
Upon this discovery, I 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 me for the funds (US$5,000,000.00) to be released in your
favor as the
beneficiary's next of kin. Because after seven years the
money will be called
back to the bank treasury as unclaimed bills and the money
shared amongst
the directors of the bank. so it is on this note i decided
to seek for whom
his name shall be used as the next of kin/beneficiary to
this funds rather
than allow the bank directors to share this money amongst
themselves at the
end of the year.
It may interest you to know that we have secured from the
probate an order
of mandamus to locate any of the deceased beneficiaries.
Please acknowledge
receipt of this message in acceptance of our mutual business
endeavor by
furnishing me with the following information if you are

1.A Beneficiary name..In order for me to prepare the
document for transfer
of the funds in your name.

2. Direct Telephone and fax numbers...For our personal
contact and mutual
trust in each other. Upon your acceptance I shall send you a
copy of my
international passport for more confidentiality and
trust. I shall be compensating you with a million dollars
dollars) on final conclusion of this project for your
assistance, while the
balance $4 million dollars shall be for me for investment
purposes. Because
I intend to retire after the conclusion of this transaction.
If this
proposal is acceptable by you, please endeavor to contact me
immediately. Do
not take undue advantage of the trust I have bestowed in
you, I await your urgent mail .

Mr.Stephen Ayling

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