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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: "edmond 2004" <>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 02:13:54 +0200
Subject: Investment

Dear Friend,

I am Barrister Edmond Mclaren, personal attorney to Mr. Morgan Harry a
property magnate Hereinafter, shall be referred to as my client died with
his wife and two children on the 23rd of June 2002 in a ghastly auto

Unfortunately, all the occupants of the vehicle lost their lives. Since
then, I have made several enquiries to your embassy to locate any member of
my client extended relatives, which has proved fruitless.

I have contacted you to help in repatriating the money left behind by my
late client before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the
Security and Finance company where this consignment is being deposited.

Particularly, the security company where my late client had this deposit
valued at US$17,556,000.00 has issued me a notice to provide the next-of-kin
or have the consignment confiscated within the next 21 official working

Having been unsuccessful to locate my client's relatives for over 2 years
now, I seek your consent to present you as the next-of-kin to my late client
same so that the proceeds of this claim can be released to you.

Your compensation for the expected assistance shall be discussed and agreed
upon before we proceed with the transaction. I have all the necessary legal
documents that will be used to back up any claim we may make. All I require
is your honest co-operation to enable us seeing this deal through.

Best Regards,
Edmond Mclaren

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