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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: "Richard Zanki" <> (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 29 Oct 2006 00:25:17 +0200
Subject: Proposal

Dear Sir,
I am the chairman of the contract award committee of
the Gold and Natural resources ministry here in South
Africa, for security reasons, I may not wish to
disclose the most important thing for now until I hear
from you.
After due deliberation with my partner, I decided to
forward to you this business proposal, we want you to
assist us receive the sum of Twenty eight million, six
hundred thousand united state bills ($28.6M) into your
This fund resulted from an over-invoiced contract
awarded by us under the budget allocation to my
ministry and the bill was approved for payment by the
concerned ministries. The contract was executed,
commissioned and the contractor was paid his actual
cost of the contract. Now, we are left with the
balance of $28.6M as the over invoiced amount, which
we have deliberately over estimated for our own use.
Please note that the law forbids civil servants to
operate or own foreign accounts hence this contact, we
have agreed to share the money in the following
percentages: 30 for you, 60 for us 10 for tax as may
be required by your government, because we don?t need
anything will delay this money when it arrive in your
bank account.
Note that this transaction is very much free from all
sorts of risk hence the business was carefully planned
before it was successfully executed and we the
officials involved in the deal have put many years in
service to our ministry. We have been exercising
patience for this privilege for so long not until the
presidential announcement last week, that all foreign
contractors owed be paid forthwith, this will enable
the presidency reconcile our debt ratio with
the outside world and to most of us, this is a
lifetime blessing we cannot afford to miss.
Upon indication of your interest to fully co-operate
with us, a payment application/information form will
be sent to you via email for completion. Note that the
following information: your private phone number and
email address willenable us seek/secure approval of
the fund from the concerned government
quarters/ministries within 3-4 banking days.
As soon as we confirm receipt of this money in your
nominated bank account, my partner and I will come
over to your country to arrange for our own share and possibly invest part of this money in your country.
Let honesty and trust be our watchword throughout this
I shall furnish you with some details about myself.
Your prompt reply will be highly appreciated.
Best regards.
Engr. Richard Zanki

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