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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: "transfer transfer" <>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2005 17:19:50 +0000
Subject: Mr. John Owen

>From The Desk of:Mr. JOHN OWEN
Head of Trustee and Depository
Institutional Fund ServiceS.
HSBC Bank Plc 24th Floor
8 Canada Square
London E14 5hq.

Dear Prospective Partner,
Good day. I need your services in a confidential matter regarding money that
was deposited by Late Mr Morris Thompson in a security firm ,the next of kin
to claim the funds is needed and I will please you to claim this fund as the
next of kin,

Kindly Visit this site: and

This requires a private arrangement. Could you perhaps receive these funds
under legal claims?. I am willing to assist you in this transaction as well
as making sure all the legal proofs of next kin is changed in your favour so
that you will genuinely and legally receive this fund under the capacity to
file for an affidavite of claim. I have all the details you will use for

All correspondences will be via email, for now. The funds in question are
quite large US$9.6 Million. I will expect a straight answer from you. Yes or
no. If yes,include your telephone and fax number to put the modalities in
place .
Thank you

Mr. John Owen

Anti-fraud resources: