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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: "ALEX ALEX" <>
Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2006 15:25:07 -0700
Subject: Hope to hear from you

Valiant Privat Bank AG

Postfach 3001

Bern, Switzerland


I am contacting you on a business transfer of a huge sum of money from a
deceased account. Though I know that a transaction of this magnitude will
make any one apprehensive and worried, but I am assuring you that all will
be well at the end of the day. We decided to contact you due to the urgency
of this transaction.


We discovered an abandoned sum of US$7,500,000.00 (Seven million five
hundred thousand United States dollars) in an account that belongs to one of
our foreign customers who died along with his entire family. Since his
death, none of his next-of-kin or relations has come forward to lay claims
for this money as the heir. We cannot release the funds from his account
unless someone applies for claim as the next-of-kin to the deceased as
indicated in our banking guidelines. Upon this discovery, we now seek your
permission to have you stand as a next-of-kin to the deceased as all
documentations will be carefully worked out by us for the funds
(US$7,500,000.00) to be released in your favour as the beneficiary's
next-of-kin. It may interest you to know that we have secured from the
probate an order of madamus to locate any of deceased beneficiaries.

Please acknowledge receipt of this message in acceptance of our mutual
business endeavour by furnishing me with the following:

1. Name and address (to be used as the Beneficiary)

2. Direct Telephone and fax numbers (to contact you)

These requirements will enable us file a letter of claim to the appropriate
departments for necessary approvals in your favour before the transfer can
be made. We shall be compensating you with ONE MILLION DOLLARS on final
conclusion of this project, while THE REST shall be for us for investment
purposes. If this proposal is acceptable by you, do not take undue
advantage of the trust we have bestowed on you.

I await your urgent response.


Mr. Alex Haas.

Anti-fraud resources: