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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: donald ruff <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2007 12:43:47 +0100
Subject: Attn: Please,

Attn: Please,
My name is Mr Donald R. Adepo.The director of internal control unit and branch manager of my bank here in Abidjan-Cote d’Ivoire.I know that a transaction of this magnitude will make any one apprehensive and worried, but I am assuring you that all will be well at the end of the day. I am contacting you for a private deal here in my branch office that involves the transfer of a huge sum of money from a deceased account.

On June 1st 2002, a foreign customer and a business mogul based here in Cote d'Ivoire, who specialised in export trade such as Diamond, Gold, Cocoa and Coffee products in large quantities from Cote d'Ivoire to the western world market, made a numbered time (fixed) deposit for twelve Calendar months, valued at 5,267,500,000.00 F CFA and the equivalent in United States dollars is USD$10,750,000.00 in my branch. He was killed with his entire family as a result of the bomb shelling by the Rebels during the civil war in the Northern part of my country BOUAKE.

Now we cannot release the fund from his account unless someone applies for claim as the next-of-kin to the deceased as indicated in our banking guide lines. Hence, I now seek your permission to have you stand as a next of kin to the deceased as all documentations will be carefully worked out by us for the funds to be released in your favour as the beneficiary's/ next of kin. It may interest you to note that I have secured from the probate an order of mandamus to locate any of deceased beneficiaries/next kin. Please acknowledge receipt of this message in acceptance of our mutual business endeavour by furnishing me with the following information. 1) I will like you to provide your personal profile data immediately and address, telephone/fax number, so that the accredited attorney with our bank will prepare the necessary documents in your favour as the legal appointed beneficiary/next of kin for the fund transfer.

2) A bank account in any part of the world, which you provide, will then facilitate the transfer of this money to you as the beneficiary/next of kin. The money will be wired into your account for us to share in the ration of 70% for me and 30% for you. There is no risk at all as all the paperwork for this transaction will be done by the attorney and my position as the director internal control unit and branch manager guarantees the successful execution of this transaction.

Also I have found out on further investigation that he did not leave a WILL nor declare any next of kin in all his official documents, including his bank deposit paperwork and all attempts to trace his next of kin were fruitless. This sum of USD$10,750,000.00 is still sitting here in the bank. According to Cote d’Ivoire fiscal Law, at the expiration of 6 (six) years, the money will revert to the ownership of the Cote d’Ivoire Government if nobody applies to claim the funds. In summary, I will like you as a foreigner to stand in immediately as the next of kin for the fund to be processed and release to you as the legal beneficiary/next of kin. If you are interested, please reply immediately .Upon your response, I shall then provide you with more details and relevant documents that will help you understand. Thanks. Mr. Donald R.Adepo.
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