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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: "Koffi Owusu" <> (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2005 18:09:27 +0100

Dear Friend,
I do foresee the surprise this letter will bring to you as it comes from unknown person but be rest assures as it comes with best of intentions. However you address was courtesy of a business journal at the Foreign Affairs ministry Accra Ghana. After due consideration, I became aware and assured of your credibility and ability to handle this trust and my hope.
Thus, my humble decision to solicit for your understanding and co-operation in this transaction as it will be beneficial to both of us involved. My name is Mr Koffi Owusu; the senior supervisor with Gate way insurance company. I have been in service with the company for 7 years and due to the poor standard of living and poor salary in Africa, especially my country Ghana I have decided to work out this transaction with you.
There is a metallic box deposited in my company for a very long time by one of our customer who has a mining industry.The box value 700 kilograms of gold dust worth forty five million fifty thousand dollars {$45,50000.00} at the rate of six thousand five hundred dollars par kilo {$6500.00 par kilo}. The depositors name is Jean Claude Benoist who was reported dead after a brief illness, on sept.10 2000. Since the incident the company has been seeking for his relations to come down and clear the Goods, but there was no news from anywhere. I as a senior supervisor handling such cases, and due to our poor standard of living in Africa, I have decided to hand over this transaction to a trusted person oversea. After which we shall both meet for sharing hence Gold price is very high now in oversea. The customer also has a company named AFERCOM Ltd in England, which was extended to African countries. My company may request for some important document a!
nd Identities of Mr. Jean Claude Benoist before the confirmation is made but the entire document needed by the companies which they have a copy in the file of Mr. Jean, I will supply you the document for Immediate clarification to facilitate the clearance of the goods. This proposal was made to avoid the company from confiscating the goods.
You can contact me on my private line 00233244033902 for any important information which might be required by you or contact me on this alternative email address On receipt of your reply, we will agree on the percentage to shear the fund after the gold most have been sold and also help me to invest in any lucrative business in your country. However if you will not be willing to help me in this project please try as much as possible to reply and inform me so that I will look for an alternative person. And please keep this project confidential so that my job will not be put on the line.
Thanks in anticipation of your good cooperation.
Koffi Owusu (Mr.).

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