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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: Fri, 28 Sep 2007 19:01:25 +0100

REPLY-THROUGH THIS E-MAIL BOX: ( ECONOMIC COMMUNITY OF WEST AFRICAN STATES [ECOWAS]GHANA OFFICE DEAR PARTNER RE: TRANSFER OF US$40,500,000.00 (FORTY MILLION,FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS ONLY) TO A SAFE ACCOUNT. I wish to intimate you with this proposal in my capacity as a Chief Accountant and in full agreement with the Auditor-General of this ORGANIZATION (ECOWAS] IN GHANA OFFICE.We scrutinized all records and the accounts of awarded and executed contracts of this ORGANIZATION(ECOWAS) during the previous ADMINISTRATIVE regime, since the inception of democracy in ECOWAS SUB-REGION STATES and carefully uncover and mapped out a whopping sum US$40.5M which we want to transfer into your account as the beneficiary. You can authentically apply for supply if it interest you to be our client with full guarantee from me. The money (US$40,500,000.00 Million) has been approved for payment by this ORGANIZATION ECOWAS, the Federal Ministry of Finance (endorsed by the Accountant General of the ORGANIZATION ) and to be paid by the Apex Bank of ECOWAS under contract number, ECOWAS/OGN/FMF/GCB/B2517/99. As top civil servants, we are not authorized to operate foreign bank accounts hence our decision to use your account in full trust and confidence to transfer this money outside ECOWAS SUB-REGION. We have accepted you as our foreign partner sum (US$40,500,000.00 Million) FORTH MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS ONLY). Moreover,it is pertinent to note that it is not risky and does not require much engagement since we have taken care of the deal in full capacity. We have resolved to give you 35% of the total for your assistance. If you are interested in this deal, please, contact me through my e-mail address above for more lively information. I am anxiously waiting for your response with hope that you will understand the confidential nature of this and its reality is a dream come through. Best regards,DESMOND EDWARDREPLY through THIS E-MAIL (
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Anti-fraud resources: