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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:

Date: Tue, 06 Sep 2005 04:38:57 +0000
Subject: Project.

Mr Chau Joseph.
The Center,
99, Queen's Road Central,
Hong Kong.

Dear Friend,

I am Mr. Joseph Chau of Investment Banking, Union Bank Of China. On July 6,
2004, our client Mr. Irvin poot, a businessman, made a numbered fixed
deposit for 6 (six) calendar months, with a value of US$20.5m only in my
branch. Upon maturity several notice was sent to him and no response came
from him. Another notification was sent early February and still no response
came from him. The Bank officially sent two-man delegate to his residence in
Malaysia were he reside only tofind out that the business mogul and his
family perished in the Tsunami disaster.

After further investigations, it was also discovered that Mr. Irvin Poot did
not declare any next of kin in his official papers, including the paper work
of his bank deposit. And he also confided in me the last time he visited my
office that no one except me knew of his deposit in my bank. So, Twenty
million, Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars is still lying in my
bank and no one will ever come forward to claim it. According to the laws of
my country, at the expiration of eighteen months (1 year6 months) the funds
will revert to the ownership of Hong Kong Government if nobody applies to
claim the funds.I will like you as a foreigner to stand as the next of kin
to Mr.Irvin Poot to enable you receive the funds. Lets put heads together to
see how we can transfer these funds out of Hong Kong and use it judiciously.

I have contacted an Attorney that will prepare the necessary document that
will back you up as the next of kin to Mr. Irvin Poot, all that is require
from you at this stage is for you to provide me with your full names and
Address including your direct phone and fax numbers formy Attorney to
commence his job. My Attorney will also file in for claims on your behalf
and secure the necessary approval and letter of probate in your favor for
the funds to be move to an account that will be provided by you.We are going
to adopt a legalized method and the Attorney will prepare all the necessary
documents and no risk involve.

Note that sharing percentage is negotiable by the two parties. Contact me on
this email address with your full names, address,
if you are interested and more details will be provided to you about the


Chau Joseph.

Anti-fraud resources: