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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:

Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2007 09:35:36 +0000

Dear Sir,Good day to you and God bless you. Please do not be socked to receive this mail from me as it is only someone of your caliber and of proven integrity that can be trusted with ones life and hope. Also you will have the required experience and expertise to make sure things are done properly. I really have a proposal which is geared to solving my problem. Please let me hear from you on this.My name is Susan Mensah , a 31 year old Ghanaian woman. I was married to Late Mr Thomas Walker, a national of America who was a gold miner with Ashanti Gold Company Ltd here in Kumasi Ghana until his death in September 2004. He died of heart failure after two days illness.I have tried contacting his relatives to no avail because the only friend I knew with him relocated before my husband's death and has not contacted us ever since.My husband did not take me to the state even for once. We were always planning to go and never did till his death. I have a son for him who is now 4 years old.I have also tried to claim his estates such as his money he deposited in bank ($12million USD) as well as Gold dust (worth 24million USD) he deposited with a private security company here in Accra Ghana to no avail. Each time I make any move, all I hear is that he put clause in his agreement with both the bank and the security company that in the event of his death, his deposits must be released to his relative abroad. I guess he did not want to die and be forgotten like that.The reason why I am writing you is to solicit your candid cooperation for me to present you as my husbands next of kin to the bank and the security company so that his deposits can be transfered in your name and to your address.I want you to know that I have sought legal advise and the only option open to me is to seek for your cooperation while all legal documents to back our claims will be supplied by the lawyer. Please reply asap so that we can proceed on the deal soonest.Please also know that I am left with nothing now and my son is not being given a good life at all. I depend on your trustworthiness and kind gesture to get me out of this abject poverty lurking at me. Moreover if you do not help me, the bank and the security company will enrich themselves with these fortune that belong to me legally. Please help me out!!!I promise to reward you accordingly. Your share of the treasure will be negotiated once we areset to continue.Thank you in advance. I wait for your reply.Mrs. Susan Walker
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