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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: richard martins <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2007 10:03:27 +0200

From: Richard Martins. (For Trustees)Managing Partner(Martins Chambers)Pretoria, South Africa
NOTIFICATION OF BEQUEST:On behalf of the Trustees and Executor of the estate of Late Mr. Brian York , I once again try to notify you as my earlier letter was returned undelivered. I hereby attempt to reach you again by this same email address on the WILL.
I wish to notify you that late Mr. Brian York made you a beneficiary
to his WILL. he left the sum of Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars (USD$ 10,500.000.00 ) to you in the codicil and last testament to his will. This may sound strange and unbelievable to you, but it is real and true. Being a widely travelled man, he must have been in contact with you in the past or simply you were nominated to him by one of his numerous friends abroad who wished you good. Mr. Brian York until his death was a member of the Helicopter Society and the Institute of Electronic & Electrical Engineers. He was a very dedicated Man who loved to give out.
His great philanthropy earned him numerous awards during his life time. Late Mr. Brian York died on the 16th day of February 2004 at the age of 90 years and his WILL is now ready for execution. According to him this money is to support his Goodwill activities (may his soul rest with the Lord) and to help the poor and needy. Please if I reach you as I am hopeful, endeavour to get back to me as soon as possible to enable me conclude my job. I hope to hear from you in no distant date. Yours in His service,Richard Martins. Esq.
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Anti-fraud resources: