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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: mary johnson <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2007 03:47:45 -0800

BELOVED IN CHRIST, MAY THE SPIRIT OF GOD GUIDE YOU AS YOU AGREE TO CARRY OUT THIS PROJECT WITH ALL SINCERITY. FROM MRS MARY JOHNSON. YOU ARE GOD SENT PLEASE ENDEAVOUR TO USE IT FOR THE CHILDREN OF GOD I am married to Dr. EDWARD JOHNSON,who worked with an embassy in WEST AFRICA for nine years before he died in the year 2001. We were married for eleven years without a child. He died after abrief illness that lasted for only four(4) days.Before his death, we were both MUSLIM. Since his death I decided not to re-marry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which the Bible is against. When my late husband was alive, he deposited the sum of $12Million (Twelve Million U.S. Dollars) with a Reserve Bank/Security and Financial Company in UK. Presently, this FUND is still in the safe keeping of the Reserve Bank in UK. Recently, my Doctor told me that I would not last for the next three months due to my cancer problems. Though what disturbs me most is my stroke . Having known my condition, I decided to donate this fund to church or better still an honest and Godfearing individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct here in: I want a church that will use this fund on, orphanages and widows propagating the word of God and to ensure that the house of God is maintained.The Bible made us to understand that Blessed is the hand that giveth. I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not Believers and I don't want my husband's hard earned money to be misused by unbelievers. I don't want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly manner. Hence the reason for taking this bold decision. I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going. I know that I am going to be in the bossom of the Lord. Exodus 14 VS 14 says that the Lord will fight my case and I shall hold my peace. I don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health and also because of the presence of my husband's relatives around me always. I don't want them to know about this development. With God all things are possible. As soon as I receive your reply I will forward your personal information to the Reserve Bank/Financial and Security Company so that they will contact you as the legal owner of this fund before transfering the fund into your nominated Bank Account in your country or better still use a DIPLOMATIC means to deliver the money there to you in your country after all legalities has been observed. I will also issue you a letter of authority that will empower you as the original beneficiary of this fund. I want you and the church to always pray for me because the lord is my shephard. My happiness is that I lived a life of a worthy Christian. Whoever that wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit and truth. Please always be prayerful all through your life. Please you must assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated here in. Hoping to hear from you as soon as possible.Remain blessed in the name of the Lord.
I NEED THESE ITEMS. NAMES.....ADDRESS....TEL....FAX.....AGE...SEX....PROFESSION , Yours in Christ, Mary Johnson(Mrs).
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