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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: Richard James <>
Date: Mon, 15 May 2006 18:35:58 +0200

Dear Friend,
My name is RICHARD JAMES of Barclays Bank London. I am writing you regarding an oppurtunity in my office that will be of immense benefit to both of us. In my department we
discovered a sum of $52.750 million Dollars (Fifty two million, Seven hundred and fifty thousand Dollars) in an account that belongs to one of our foreign customers Late Mr. Morris Thompson 61, an American who unfortunately
lost his life in the plane crash of Alaska Airlines
Flight 261 which crashed on January 31th, 2000 including his wife and only daughter.
Please, read more about the crash on visiting this site.
Since we got information about his death, we have been
expecting his next of kin or relatives to come over
and claim his money, because we cannot release it
unless somebody applies for it as next of kin or relation to the deceased as indicated in our banking policies.
Unfortunately, his supposed next of kin being his only daughter died along with him in the
plane crash, leaving nobody with the knowledge of this fund behind for the claim. It is therefore upon this
discovery that I and two other officials in this department now decided to make business with you and
release the money to you as the next of kin or beneficiary of the funds for safe keeping and
subsequent disbursements, since nobody comes for the claims,
and we don't want this money to go back into
Government treasury as unclaimed fund. The banking law
and guidelines here stipulates that, after five years such money will be transferred into banking treasury as unclaimed funds.
We agreed that 30% of this money will be for you as foreign partner, while the balance of 70% will be for us.
I will visit your country for the disbursement according to the percentages indicated
once this money gets into your account. Please be honest enough because trust is our watchword in this transaction.
Note this transaction is confidential and risk free.
As soon as you receive this mail.please do your very best to get in touch with our (FOREIGN PAYMENT DIRECTOR)
email at: or
Better still call 0044 208 819 6330
All necessary arrangements for the smooth release of these funds has been finalised. Our
Foreign Payment Director, Mr. NELSON BRIGHT will give you specific instructions on what to do. Please in your response include your telephone number for easy communication between us.
Best Regards.
Mr Richard James.

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