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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: "mike mensah" <>
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2006 05:34:52 +0000

Dear Friend,

My name is Mr. mike mensah, the regional manager of International commercial
Bank (ICB) Kaneohe Branch Ghana.

I am a Ghanaian married with two kids.

I have packaged a financial transaction that will benefit both of us. As the
regional manager of the bank, it’s my duty to send financial reports to my
head office in the capital city of Accra.
On the course of the last year 2005 end of the of the year’s report, I
discovered that my branch in which I am the manager made Six Million Five
Hundred and Fifty Thousand US Dollars ($6,550.000.00) of which my head
Office is not aware of and will never be aware of. I have since then PLACED
this fund on a SUSPENCE ACCOUNT without a beneficiary.

As an officer of the bank, I cannot be directly connected to this money thus
I am compelled to request for your assistance to receive this money into
your bank account.

I intend to part with 30% of this fund to you while 70% shall be for me.
I do need to assure you that there is practically no risk involved in this.
It’s going to be a bank-to-bank transfer.

All I need from you is to stand as the original depositor of this fund.
If you accept this offer, I will appreciate your timely response.

With regards,

Mr.mike mensah,

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Anti-fraud resources: