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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:

Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2007 18:39:39 +0100
Subject: Proposal From Barrister Ishemeal Idris (Urgent Respond)


I am Barrister Ishemeal Idris, a solicitor at law. I
am the personal attorney to Mr. James Zech , a
national of your country, who used to work with
Shell Development Company in Nigeria. Here in after
shall be referred to as my client.On the 21st of April
2005, my client, his wife and their only son
were involved in a car accident along sagbama express
road. All occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost
there lives.Since then I have
made several enquiries to your embassy to locate any
of my clients extended relatives this has also proved

After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided
to track his last name over the Internet, to locate
any member of his family hence I contacted you. I
have contacted you to assist in repartrating the
assets and Capital valued at US$15.5million left
behind by my client before they get confisicated or
declared unserviceable by the Security Finance Firm
where this huge deposits were lodged.

The said Security Finance Company has issued me a
notice to provide the next of kin or have the account
confisicated within the next fourteen
official working days. Since I have been unsuccesfull
in locating the relatives for over 2 years now, I seek
the consent to present you as the
next of kin to the deceased since you have the same
last names,so that the proceeds of this account can be
paid to you.Therefore, on receipt of your
positive response, we shall then discuss the sharing
ratio and modalities for transfer. I have all
necessary formation and legal documents needed to
back you up for claim.All I require from you is your
honest cooperation to enable us see this transaction
through.I guarantee that this will be executed under
a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from
any breach of the law.
My alternative email address is

I waiting to hear from you soon.

Best regards,

Anti-fraud resources: