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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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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:

Fraud email example:

From: "Mr. William Ismay" <>
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 21:29:09 +0100
Subject: From:Mr William Ismay

From:Mr William Ismay
Smith & Williamson
Private Services
Tel/fax +44-7092864843
Riding House Extension,
London, Uk.

I am Mr.William Ismay, the accounting officer-in charge
of the Private investment section of the above named
Finance house. I have decided to contact you on a business
Transfer that requires confidentiality, Trust and transparency,
where both of us have a lot to Benefit, during my investigation and auditing
in the
Accounts section, my department came across a huge sum of money
Belonging to a deceased person, a foreigner who died
On July 7, 2000 in a plane crash. This
Fund has been dormant in his account in the private investment dept
Without any claim to this fund in our custody, either
>From his family or relation. The said amount is (Ten million Usd).
As it might interest you to know, I got your contact
Through international business enquiry and my search for a trust worthy
Partner that can handle a business of this magnitude
Meanwhile all arrangement to put claim to this fund in
Your name as the bonafide next of kin to the deceased,
And get the required approval to transfer this money
To a foreign account, have been put in place. While
The next line of action to conclude this transaction
In the next 5 working days, Will be relayed to you as
Soon as you indicate your interest in this
Transaction. I must also inform you that upon the completion of this
Transaction, you will be entitled to Twenty percent of the total
Sum as gratification, for your role and assistance,
While the balance will be for me as the owner of the funds.
Please, you have been advised to keep this to your self
Since I am still in service and intend to Retire after I conclude this
I will be monitoring the whole situation here via my contact
Until you confirm the money in your account.
Then, immediately, I shall come down to the country of
Your nominated account for subsequent sharing of the
Funds according to percentages previously indicated and Further investment.

Yours faithfully,

Mr William Ismay.

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