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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: "From Mariam Abacha" <>
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2006 09:31:07 -1200

Good day,

It is with heart full of hope that I write to seek your
assistance in the context below.
I am Dr. Mrs Mariam Abacha wife of the late head of State of
Nigeria who died on the 8th of june 1998 while in active
service .
I am seeking your assistance in the transfer of the sum of
$18 M [ Eighteen Million United States Dollars ] to your
The money came from a contract deal between my late husband
and a Russian firm in our country's multi million Dollar
Ajaokuta Steel Rolling Plant.
The Russians returned my late husbands share of $18 M after
his death and I deposited it in our family's vault.

Now the civillian administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo
has intensified his probe of my late husband's activities
while in office and he has seized almost all our property
and has also frozen all our accounts as well as other assets
as a retaliation for what my late husband did to him when he
was alive as the Head of State of Nigeria.
We have now been decleared bankrupt .
I acted fast and withdrew the money from our security vault
and disguised it and deposited it in a privately owned
security company in Europe .
I agree that 40 % of this money given to you as foreign
partner , in respect to the provision of a foreign account ,
10 % will be set aside for expenses incured during the
business and 50 % would be for me and my family.

There after I will visit your country for disbursement
according to the percentages indicated .
The Security Company,s law and guideline here stipulates
that if such money remained unclaimed after Eight years ,
the money will be transfered into the Security Company
treasury account as unclaimed fund .
You should contact me immediately as soon as you receive
this letter. Trusting to hear from you immediately.

And send to my attention the following information of yours
for proper documentation to begin the transaction .

1. Your full names
2. Your full address
3. Your phone and fax numbers including mobile phone if any

Best regards,
Dr. Mrs Mariam Abacha .

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