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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: stephen mensah <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2007 15:43:10 +0000
Subject: From The Desk of Regional Manager

From The Desk of Regional ManagerMr Stephen
My Good friend, Greetings to you Before I introduce myself, I wish to inform you that this mail is not a hoax mail and I urge you to treat it with seriousness. This letter must come to you as a big surprise, but I believe it is only a day that people meet and become great friends and business partners. My name is Mr. Stephen Mensah. The present branch Manager Of a bank here in Ghana . I write you this proposal in good faith, believing that I can trust you with the information I am about to reveal to you. Like I said, I have a transaction that will benefit both of us, as your assistance is required as a foreigner. I use to work as head of the Accounts department in my bank head office, but last December I was asked to take position of a Manager at one of our branches to replace the former who passed on, so that was how I became the present Manager and discovered a Fortune. As I resumed duty, during my routine check and taking over, I discovered an account with a substantial sum of money in United States dollars that has been floating and unaccounted for the past 4 years. From my investigation, I discovered that the branch in which I am the manager, made excess profit from an accrued interest on money deposited by the Economic community of West African states contract payment committee, and the money has been floating. In fact, I have PLACED this fund in an ESCROW CALL ACCOUNT without a legitimate beneficiary and which will change to your name as soon as you identify your interest in writing. The escrow call account is a secret type of account in my bank and no other person knows about this account or any thing concerning it, the account has no other beneficiary. I have kept a close monitoring of the account since then. As the branch manager of the bank, I cannot directly take out this money without the help of a foreigner and that is why I am contacting you for an assistance to claim the funds and share it with me. I have the power to influence the release of the funds to any foreigner that comes up as the depositor of the money, with the correct information concerning the account, which I shall give you. Your responsibility will be to assist me move the fund to your country. It’s going to be a Bank-to-Bank transfer and I need to assure you that there are no risks involved in this Business. The transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of law. If you accept to work with me, I want you to state how you wish us to share the funds in percentage, so that both parties will be satisfied. Contact me as soon as you receive this message if you feel we can work together, so we can go over the details. Thanking you in advance and May God bless you. Please, treat with utmost confidentiality. I wait your urgent response. Regards,
Best regards,Mr Stephen
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