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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: Mensah Akufu <>
Date: Fri, 05 Jan 2007 17:27:47 +0100
Subject: Need Urgent Response:

Mensah Akufu & Chambers
108, Degbago Crescent
Cotonou Rep of Benin..
Dear Sir/Ma.

I, barrister Mensah have decided to bestow this trust on you, which I pray you will not ignore or betray.I appologize in advance for any inconviniences this may cause you. I am Barrister Mensah Akufu the Personal Attorney to late Mr George K.Marshal, who was a contractor here in Benin Rep.Who, on December 2003, with his entire family were perished in the Air-Crash on board From Cotonou. As a matter of fact, my client made a fixed deposit Amount, valued at 3.2 million usa dollars with Reliance Bank here in Benin Rep, and upon the duration time of their agreement,his bank started contacting him but no response. Conseqently, the Bank issued me a notice to provide the next of kin to the deceased as his personal attorney,or have his account confiscated after four years, as it is in the law of this country.

Since then, I have made several contacts to His Countries Embassy in order to locate any of my clients extended relatives,which had also been unsuccessful. Since I have been unsuccesful in locating the relatives for over three years now, I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin of the deceased since none of his relatives were no where to be found so that the proceeds of this account valued at 3.2 millon doolars could be transfer into your account, thereafter,we will both share it in percentage according to our contributions to boost the success of this great transaction. I have all the necessary legal documents that can be used to back up all the claims we will make. All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us make this great benefiting transaction successfully.

I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. Please get in touch with me as soon as possible through my mail:
also to enable us discuss further the progress of this business.

With best wishes,
Hon:Mensah Akufu.

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