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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: "Alex Konte" <alexkonte@msn.com>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2005 21:55:23 +0000
Subject: YOUR URGENT RESPONSE IS NEEDED FOR MUTUAL TRANSACTION

FROM  MR ALEX KONTE

ATTENTION PLEASE,
 
I am Alex Konte, An accountant ( grade b ) working with
Africa Development Bank (ADB), am asking for your support and cooperation to carry out this business opportunity in my department.
We discovered an abandoned sum of uS$15.5 (Fifteen  million, five
Hundred Thousand United States Dollars only) in an account that belongs to one of our foreign customer who died along with his entire family of a wife and two children in April 2001 in a Plane crash.
Since we heard of his death, we have been expecting his next-of-kin to
come over and put claims for his money as the heir, because we cannot
release the fund from his account unless someone applies for claim as the
next-of-kin to the deceased as indicated in our banking guidelines.
Unfortunately, neither their family member nor distant relative has
ever appeared to claim the said fund. Upon this discovery, I and other
officials in my department have agreed to make business with you and release the total amount into your account as the heir of the fund since no one came for it or discovered he maintained account with our bank, otherwise the fund will be returned to the banks treasury as unclaimed fund. We have agreed to compensate you with 40% of the total amount.
Upon the successful completion of this transfer, I and one of my
colleagues will come to your country and mind our share. To commence this transaction, we require you to immediately INDICATE YOUR INTEREST by a return e-mail.
The INDICATION of your interest is very important as to enable us file
letter of claim to the appropriate departments for necessary approvals
before the transfer can be made. Note also, this transaction must be
kept STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL because of its nature. I look forward to
receiving your prompt response.
 
Yours Faithfully,
Alex Konte.

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