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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: "pat kenman" <>
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2006 16:35:45 +0100
Subject: Dear Wouters

From The Desk Of
Barrister Kenman Pat
Chamber of commerce
No: 35 Allen Avenue
Festac Lagos Nigeria

Dear Wouters,
I am barrister Kenman Pat a solicitor at law. I am the personal attorney to
Tony Wouters,, a national of your country, who used to work with shell
Development Company in Nigeria. Here in after shall be referred to as my
client. On the 21st of April 2003, my client, his wife and their three
children were involved in a car accident along Owerri express road. All
occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost their lives. Since then I have
made several Enquiries to your embassy to locate any of my clients extended
relatives this has also proved unsuccessful.

After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to track his last name
over the Internet, to locate any member of his family hence I contacted you.
I have contactedyou to assist in repatriating the money and property left
behind by my client beforethey get confiscated or declared unserviceable by
the Finance Company where thesehuge deposits were lodged. Where the deceased
had an account valued at about 12.6million dollars as the Finance company
has issued a notice to provide the next of kin or have the account
confiscated within the next ten official working days.

Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over 3 years
now I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin of the deceased
since you have the same last name so that the proceeds of this account
valued at 12. 6 million dollars can be paid to you and then you and I can
share the money. I have all necessary legal documents that can be used to
back up any claim we may make.

All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us see this deal through.
I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that
will protect you from any breach of the law. Please get in touch with me as
soon as possible on my private email address (
I wait your urgent response in other for us to move forward.

Best Regards,
Barrister Kenman Pat (ESQ)

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