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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, 13 Dec 2005 16:12:22 +0100
Subject: From Eric Vandrous.

I hope this letter finds you well.
While this email will definitely be coming to you as a surprise, please take a moment of your time to read
this. It is very important. I am ERIC VANDROUS, working in a finance company in the Netherlands.
However I got your address through the International web directory online. During our recent
reconciliation and auditing of our bank accounts, my department discovered an over dormant account
with a huge amount of money valued at Euro 16,600,000.00 (Sixteen million, six hundred thousand, Euro
Only) that belongs to one of our late customers; a Mr. Schmitt, from GERMANY. He has passed away
(dead) leaving no beneficiary to the account. So the funds have been dormant in his account with this
bank without any claim or activity on it for quite some time.
Due to our bank regulations, It is only a foreigner that can stand as a next of kin and it is upon this
discovery that I decided to contact you to collaborate with you to reactivate these dormant funds. So to
avert any negative development and chance losing these funds forever. On behalf of my bank
colleagues we now seek your permission to have you stand in as next of kin to our late customer so that
the fund will be released and paid into your account. You would become the beneficiary's next of kin to
release these funds into your charge. I could have done this alone but because of my position as civil
servants, we are not allowed to operate a foreign account and that would eventual raise an eyebrow
during the time of transfer. I still work in this bank, this is the actual reason why I required a second party
or fellow who will work with me forward claims as the next of kin(you)and also provide either an existing
bank account or to set up a new bank account immediately to receive these inactive funds.
However, on conclusion of this transaction, you will be entitled to 40% of the total fund, while 10% will be
set aside to take care of expenses on both sides that may arise during the time of transfer and also for
telephone bills, and the remaining 50% will be for our bank as a finders fee and processing fee.
What I want from you is for you to act as the deceased next of kin. I have in my possession, all the
necessary Documents to successfully accomplish the operation.Further information will be given to you
as soon as I receive your positive response,which includes your telephone number.
I suggest you get back to me as soon as possible stating your wish. We don't have alot of time to correct
this unfortunate situation and I am afraid that without your help it will all be lost forever. For confidentiality
please contact me on my personal email address;

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best Regards,
Eric Vandrous.

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