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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: "Doug Kaku." <> (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2006 10:16:32 +0400
Subject: Good Morning.

Good Morning,

My name is Mr. Doug Kaku, a banker here in Ghana. I write you this proposal in good faith as a brother, believing that you will not betray me regarding the information I am about to reveal to you. In 2002 a Crude Oil dealer Late Mr. MICHAEL SCHMIDT, made a (Fixed deposit) for 36 calendar months, valued at US$14,600,000.00 (Fourteen Million, Six hundred Thousand US Dollars) with my bank. I was his account officer before I rose to the position of manager. The maturity date for this deposit contract was 20th of August 2005. I have tried my possible best to locate Mr. Michael to notify him about this, but all my efforts proved abortive. I later discovered that Mr. Michael, his wife and only daughter were among the victims of bomb blast during the war in Iraq.

Unfortunately, he has no other living relatives to inherit this fund. Now, a new Financial Law, which takes effect in two month's time, stipulates that any bank account more than $5,000,000.00 [Five Million US Dollars] will be investigated and the bank shall produce the account owner for clearance. This is a Government measure to check money laundering. If I do not find a way to move this money out of the country immediately, in two month's time, it might be reverted to Government treasury because the bank management cannot provide Mr. Michael since he is now late. I am seeking your co-operation to present you as the next of kin to the account since you are a foreigner, so that my bank head quarters will release the funds to you. It is only a foreigner can claim the funds in the account. There is no risk involved, the transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of law. Let me know!
how much percent you will take, so that both parties will
be satisfied. Contact me as soon as you receive this message for further details.

Please, treat as top secret, I am the only person having this information.


Doug Kaku.

Anti-fraud resources: