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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: edward butor <>
Date: Mon, 22 May 2006 09:42:41 +0100 (BST)

Tel:+27 -73-307-2272

Dear Sir/Madam


I am Edward Butor(FCAA), the chief accountant of African Development Bank (ADB). There is an account opened in this bank in 1999 and since 2001 nobody has operated this account.After going through some old files in the records, I discovered that if I do not remit this money out
urgently it would be forfeited for nothing.
The owner of this account is Mr. Smith B. Andreas, a foreigner, and a miner at Kruger Gold Company.
He Was a Geologist by profession and he died since 2000. No other person knows about this account or anything concerning it, the account has no other beneficiary and my investigation proved to me as well that this Company does not know anything about this account and the money involved is Thirty Six Million United States Dollars (US$ 36 Million). I want us to transfer this money into your Safe overseas account. I am only contacting you as a foreigner because this money cannot be approved to a local Bank here, but can only be approved to any foreign account because the money is in United States Dollars and the former owner Mr. Smith B. Andreas is a foreigner too. I know that this message
will come to you as surprise as we don’t know ourselves.
We will sign an agreement, rest assured that it is real and a genuine Business transaction. I only got your contact information from my secretary who operates computer; with believe in God that you will never let me down in this business, considering my position as a public servant.

You are the only person that I have contacted in this Business; so Please reply urgently so that I will inform you the next step to take immediately. Send also your telephone and fax numbers including full details of your account to be used for the deposit. I want us to meet face-to-face and sign a binding agreement to bind us together so that you can receive this money into your account where the fund will be safe. And I will fly to your country for withdrawal and sharing and other investment.

Meanwhile, I am contacting you because of the need to involve a foreigner with a foreign account as a
beneficiary. I need your full co-operation to make this work fine because the management is ready to approve this payment to any foreigner who has correct information of this account, which I will give to you as soon as you indicate your sincerity to co-operate with me, and capability to handle such amount in strict confidence and trust, according to my instruction and advice, for our mutual benefit because this opportunity may never come again in my life. I need a truthful and God fearing person
in this Business because I don’t want to make a mistake so I need your strong assurance and trust. With my position in the office I don’t want anything that will jeopardize my job so I advice that we should make secrecy and confidentiality our primary working condition, bearing in mind that I am a public servant. I will also use my position and influence to effect legal approvals and onward
transfer of this money to your account with appropriate clearance forms from the ministries and foreign exchange department. I will compensate you adequately depending on
the terms we shall agree on subsequently.
Reply to I look forward to your earliest reply.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Edward Butor

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