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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: Frank Kouevi <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2007 12:13:22 +0100
Subject: Urgent attention needed.


Dear trusted friend,I honestly apologize and hope I do not cause you much embarrasement by contacting you through this means for a transaction of this magnitude. This message could be strange but it's real if you pay some attention to it, Due to the confidentiality and prompt access reposed on this medium, it became necessary for me to seek your assistance and it is imperative for me to know your opinion. In a brief introduction, I am Frank Kouevi, the Director of Operation with ECOBANK-COTONOU in Benin Republic. I have a very interesting deal to discuss with and the deal has to do with one Mr. George N. Stearns a national of your country, who was employed as a Consultant/contractor with Societe Nationale Des Products D' Agricole (SONAPRA) a cotton manufacturing company in Cotonou-Benin. On 25th December 2003, Mr. George N. Stearns with his wife and their only daughter was involved in a plane crash victims with Boeing 727 air plane belonging to African Transport Union (UTA). In this fatal tragidy with Beirut-bound flight, 110 persons died and Over 40 others still reported missing, while 22 passengers survived, you may confirm the event of the air crash through: or Consequently, Mr. George N. Stearns made a numbered time (fixed) deposited for twelve calendar and his account with our Bank accrues to about (Four Million, Five hundred and Fifty-Two Thousand US Dollars) USDM4.552,000.00. Hence my decision to contact you is that you and I will go into partnership hence late Mr. Stearns has no other relative to claim his left fund in our bank. However,the nature of your business is completely irrelevant to this transaction as all I need from you is an assurance that my interest will be fully protected once this deal is concluded. All I want you to do is to act as the next of kin of Late Mr. George N. Stearns because you are a foreigner like him which makes this claim straight forward. The fund in question will be reverted to the government ownnership as abaundoned treasure if no body comes forward to claim the funds as his next of kin. Therefore, you as a foreigner is fully qualified to stand as the next of kin to late Mr. Stearns so that the fruits of this old man's labour will not get into the hands of some corrupt government officials as the expiration period is at hand. Please note that There is no risk at all, my position as the Director of Operation guarantees the successful execution of this transaction. It is expected that upon the receipt of your acceptance, this transaction will be concluded within 7 Banking days and the money will be paid into your account for us to share in the ratio of 40% for you and 60% for me. Please if you are interested kindly reply me with my alternative email: and also you send to me your private phone, or mobile numbers for easier correspondence.I look forward to hearing from you soon.Best Regards, Mr Frank Kouevi.

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