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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: "helen paul" <>
Date: Thu, 01 Dec 2005 11:55:02 +0000
Subject: Mrs:Helen paul

FROM. Mrs:Helen paul
Abidjan-Cote D ivoire

Dear Sir/Madam


My name is Mrs. Helen paul, a Banker and accountant with a Bank in
AbidjanCoted'Ivoire. I am the personal accounts manager to Eng.Richard
Williams, a National of your country, who used to work with an oil servicing
company here in Cote Ivoire. My client, his wife, and their three children
were involved in the ill fated Kenya Airways crash in the coasts of Abidjan
in January 2000 in which all passengers on board died.Since then I have made
several inquiries to your embassy to locate any of my clients extended
relatives but has been unsuccessful. Afterseveral unsuccessful attempts, I
decided to trace his last name over the internet,to see if I could locate
any member of his family hence I contacted you.

Of particular interest is this huge deposit with our bank here in,where the
deceased has an account valued at about ($4.500.000 million US dollars).They
have issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or the bank will declare
the account unservisable and thereby send the funds to the bank
treasury.Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over
last 2 years now, I will seek your consent to present you as the next of kin
of the deceased since you have the same last names, so that the proceeds of
this account valued at ($4.500.000million US dollars) can be paid to you and
then you and I can share the money. All I require is your honest cooperation
to enable us see this deal through. I guarantee that this will be executed
under all legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of
the law.If you can handle this with me,Thanking you for your anticipated
cooperation. In your reply mail, give your full names,
address,date of birth, telephone and fax numbers.

Mrs. Helen paul

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