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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: "james duke" <>
Date: Wed, 08 Jun 2005 07:32:06 +0000

From; James Duke

Dear Friend,

I guess this letter may come to you as a surprise since I had no previous
correspondence with you.

I am the chairman tender board of Independent National Electoral Commission
(INEC).I got your contact in my search for a reliable person to handle a
very confidential transaction involving the transfer of US$20.5million.

The above fund is not connected with arms, drugs or Money laundering.It is
the product of an over invoiced Contract awarded in 2001 by INEC to a
foreign company for the construction of high rise estate in the federal
capital territory.

The contract has long been executed and payment of the actual contract
amount has been paid to the foreign contractor leaving the balance,which my
colleague and I now want to transfer out of Nigeria into a reliable foreign
account for our personal use.

As civil servants we are not allowed to run foreign accounts. Hence we have
chosen to front and support you as the beneficiary to be paid.
It is a very good thing that the president has endorsed the resolution
passed by the senate that all foreign contractors owed by the federal
government of Nigeria be paid.We will seize this good opportunity to surport
you as one of the beneficiaries to be paid.

If you are interested in the proposal kindly get back to me by sending me
your letter of acceptance along with your direct telephone and fax numbers,
we have decided to share the money in the following percentage,60%for us
30%for you the account owner and 10% for all local and international
expenses that may arise in the course of this transaction.

Further details about this transaction will be discussed in the subsequent
Note also that the particular nature of your business is irrelevant to this
transaction and all local contacts and arrangements are in place for a
smooth and successful conclusion of this transaction.

Be informed that we are aware of the way email proposals of this type are
being sent from this part of africa and as regards that,you should please
treat this with
utmost attention knowing fully well that you cannot and will not be
compelled to assist us if you are not disposed to.

Contact me via my email account with your contact telephone and fax Numbers,
so that I can call you for a discussion.

Thank you as I await your response.


James Duke

Anti-fraud resources: