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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: Michael Fisher <>
Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2006 07:30:00 +0100 (CET)
Subject: transfer status

My dear,
I got your email and I want to reassure you that progress has been made.
This week marks the sucessful transfer of the funds into your account as we have already put all the required application with my bank on your behalf.
What is left now is for me to procure the probate order from the london probate registry giving you legal clearance to receive to receive the funds.
Hence I will need you to reconfirm your full contact address and names so that i can get the approvals secured in your name through our bank attorney.
I have already taken care of the cost,tax and other financial aspects involved,so do not be disturbed in anyway.
I am trying hard to make sure that the legal department of the bank does complete all the necessary paperworks without you coming to London to do it yourself.
Meanwhile,kindly start the process of getting a new account ready to receive the funds,you can open a new account yourself this week with a few dollars in it so that much time will not be wasted once my bank confirms the transfer date to you.
Please do that today and get back to me immediately with your contact address and full names so that i can get the probate order and legal clearance procured and sent to you by email or fax.
I await your email along with the required information
Michael Fisher


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