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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: "Balogun Ajayi" <> (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 2 Sep 2005 05:37:40 +0100
Subject: National Orientation Agency

Balogun Ajayi
Nigeria National Orientation Agency
Federal Ministry of Information
Abuja, Nigeria.
Tel ;234 80344 86856

It is indeed my pleasure to write you this letter, which I believe will
be a surprise to you as we have never met before. I actually got your
e-mail address while searching the internet for a foreigner to handle
this transaction.
I am Mr Balogun Ajayi, director, Civic Registration, Nigerian National
Orientation Agency (NNOA), Federal Ministry of Information, and a close
associate of the immediate past Minister of Finance, Mallam Adamu
Before his death, he has mandated me to transfer the sum of US$88
millions recovered from over-invoiced contracts involved in the Nigerian
National Identity Card project, into several private offshore accounts. A
total sum of US$73,700,000.00 has been transferred before the untimely
removal of Mallam Adamu Ciroma, leaving a balance of US$14, 300,000.00.
Please do not disregard this mail and for avoidance of doubt you can
verify the National Identity Card project with the Nigerian High
Commission in your country or you visit the Internal Affairs website: as posted by
Nigerian business information in 2003 when the Identity Card project
started. But do not disclose my identity or the actual nature of this
transaction as I am still a serving officer in the ministry
I have made proper arrangement to transfer the balance. I am soliciting
that you help me to receive the fund in trust. I cannot complete this
transaction without the participation of a foreign partner who would
provide an offshore account where the funds could be lodged, as the
Federal Legislature does not permit Government workers to operate offshore
The remittance of the funds requires little documentation that would be
completed as soon as you provide me with a secured bank account that
you have absolute control over, where you may wish to receive the money.
There is no risk involved on your part in this transaction since the
Minister and I have covered this transaction with adequate contract and
external credit documents.
What we require from you by email are:

(i) Acceptance of this offer

(ii) Your company name/address, telephone/fax numbers and a bank
account that you have absolute control over where the funds would be

(iii) Convincing Honesty, Trustworthiness and Willingness to
abide by the requirements of this proposal paramount of which is

I have agreed that you will retain 20% of the entire US$14, 300,000.00
for your effort in this transaction, 80% for us partners here in

Please reply urgently by email, as I expect that the transaction will
not take more than seven working days. However, if you are not in any
position to assist us, please do not respond to this mail and we
apologize for taking your time.

My warmest regards.
Balogun Ajayi

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