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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: peter cullen <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2007 02:48:27 +0000
Subject: My Dear Friend

My Dear Friend, You might find it so difficult to remember me. Though, it is indeed, a very long time. On my singular, I am much delighted and privileged to contact you again, after couple of years now. It takes fate, courage and God's fearing to remember old friends and at the same time, to show gratification to them, despite circumstances that made things to not work out as we projected then. I take this liberty to inform you that, the transaction we were pursing together, finally worked out by God's infinite mercy and I decided to contact you just to let you know. You are advised to stop any further communication with your local representative(s) any officials (s) department whom may call or email you concerning the check draft worth sum of €1,000.000.00 except Dr. David Harris. Chief Accountant BANK OF AFRICA Benin Republic ING BANK-AFFILIATE BANK You are advised not to accept any fax or telephone calls that does not come from him, because he is the only person I left with the order on how to deliver the check draft to you, and you may call him immediately you received this message for more information through the instruction I left, I have conscience as a human being, due to your tremendous effort and contribution to make things work out in retrospect. Meanwhile, I must inform you that I am presently in Japan for numerous business negotiations and establishments. I just arrived yesterday night and checked inn, in a hotel and decided to go down to the hotel business centre to mail you. Now, with my sincere heart, I have raised and signed an International Cashier's Bank draft, to the Sum of € (ONE MILLION EURO) only in your name as a COMPENSATION to your dedication, humanity and contribution, as it were during those trying period. Contact him now, his Name is David Harris. (Chief accountant BANK OF AFRICA Benin Republic ING BANK-AFFILIATE BANK ) on his E-mail: or phone number +229-93691150 You are to forward to him, the following 1. YOUR FULL NAMES:2.YOUR HOUSE/OFFICE MAILING ADDRESS3. YOUR HOUSE/MOBILE TELEPHONE NUMBER He will advise you further about the shippment of the ICBD to your Residence Address or Office Address you may provide. Feel free to reach him via this very mail
Most importantly, the ICBD has only validity period of 60 banking days. therefore the earlier you respond the better to that effect, shall be admired. You have to mind the days enroute shippment. Sincerely Yours,Mr Peter Cullen
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