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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: "BARR CHENG FOO" <> (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2006 07:02:24 +0800

Dear sir/madam

My name is Mr. Cheng Williams, a legal practitioner
with Foo Cheng Williams Chambers in Kuala Lumpur,
I saw your contact and profile and decided that you
could cooperate with me in this proposition.
I have a client who was deceased in November, 2004,
in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I am contacting you because
you have the same surname as my deceased client and i
felt that you could help me in the distribution of
funding that were left in my deceased client's bank
account. This funding is closed to be declared
un-serviceable by the bank as there were no indicated
next of kin or next of beneficiary of the funding in
the bank account.
The total amount of cash in the bank account of my
deceased client is US$ 12.5 Million ( Say, Twelve
Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States dollars
Only ),The bank had issued to me a notification to
contact the next of kin of my deceased client for
either to re-activate the bank account or to make
claim of beneficiary, of the funding in the bank
account, with a month surcharge of 6% to be deducted
as an Escrow safe keeping fee of the bank account, so
as to avoid the indefinite closure of the bank
My proposition to you is to seek your consent, and to
present your kind self as the next-of-kin and
beneficiary of my deceased client, since you have the
same last name with him.
This means that the proceeds of his bank account
would be paid to you as his next of kin or the
legitimate beneficiary. When the proceeds in his
bank account are paid to you, we would share the
proceeds on a mutually agreed-upon percentage of 60%
to me and 40% to your kind self.
All the legal documents to back up your claim as my
client's next-of-kin would be provided by me. The
most important thing I would need is your honest
co-operation in this proposition. This would be done
under a legitimate arrangement that would protect you
from any breach of the law.

If this business proposition offends your moral and
ethical values, feel free to back out. Please contact
me at once if you are interested by replying through my personal email(

Best regards,
Barr.Foo Cheng Williams Esq.
Head of chambers

Anti-fraud resources: