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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:

Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2006 20:16:49 +0200
Subject: Reply me as soon as possible

I am Dr. ANDREW COLA, the Director For Projects with the Ministry of Petroleum. First and Foremost, I
apologize for using this medium to reach you for a transaction/business of this magnitude, but this is due
to the confidentiality and prompt access reposed on this medium. I got your contact from the Nigerian
Export and Promotion Council I have decided to seek a confidential co-operation with you in the
execution of the deal described hereunder for the benefit of all parties and hope you will keep it as top
secret because of the nature of the transaction. Within the Ministry of Petroluem where I work as a
Director, and with the co-operation of four other top officials, we have in our possession as overdue
payment bills totaling Twenty Eight Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars
(US$28,500,000.00) which we want to transfer abroad with the assistance and co-operation of a foreign
company who will receive the said funds on our behalf or a reliable foreign non-company account to
receive such funds. More also, we are handicapped in this circumstances as the Nigerian Civil Service
Code of Conduct does not allow us to operate offshore account hence your importance in this whole
transaction. This amount US$28,500,000.00 represents the balance of the total contract value executed
on behalf of my Ministry by a foreign contracting firm, which we the officials over-invoiced deliberately.
Though the actual contract cost has been paid to the original contractor, leaving behind the balance in
the tune of the said amount which we have by principle gotten approval by Key Tested Telegraphic
Transfer (K.T.T.) to any foreign bank account you will provide by filling an application through the Justice
Ministry here in Nigeria for the transfer of rights and priviledges of the former contractor to you. I have the
authority of my partner involved to propose that should you be willing to assist us in the transaction, your
share of the sum will be 30% of the $28.5M, 60% for us and 10% for taxation and miscellaneous
expenses. The business itself is 100% safe on your part provided you treat it with utmost secrecy and
confidentiality. Also, your area of specialization is not a hindrance to the successful execution of this
transaction. Endeavour to contact me immediately through my direct email address for confidential reason
as we progress I will give you my telephone and fax number whether or not you are interested in this deal.
If you are not, it will enable me scout for another foreign partner to carry out this deal. And please
remember to treat this matter as very confidential because we will not comprehend any form of exposures
as we are still in active Government service and also remember that time is of the essence in this
I await your response in anticipation of your fullest co-operation.
Yours faithfully,

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