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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: Udoeze Lonttos <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2007 11:20:55 +0000

Dear Gallo, Please, do not be offended if this message comes to you as I ought to have sought your consent and approval before e-mailing this proposal to you. I acted as I did due to the importance and urgency of this business. Which ever way you may look at it, let it please you to respond quickly either negatively or positively. I am Barrister Lonttos Udoeze,a legal practitioner and I am the personal attorney to late Mr.Paul B.Gallo,a national of your country who used to work with Shell Development Company in Lome,Togo. He used to be my client. On the 21st of April,2002,my client,his wife and their only daughter were involved in a car accident along Nouvissi express Road. All occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost their lives. Since then I have made several enquiries to your embassy here to locate any of my clients extended relativesbut all proved unsuccessful. 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 me in repartrating the fund valued at US$10.5 million left behind by my client before it gets confisicated or declared unserviceable by the Bank where this huge amount were deposited. The said Bank has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or have his account confisicated within the next twenty one official working days which is three weeks from now. Since I have been unsuccesfull in locating the relatives for over 2years now, I seek the consent to present you as the next of kin to the deceased since you have the same last names with him so that the proceeds of his account can be paid to you as the bonafide beneficiary. All I require from you is your honest cooperation to enable us see this transaction through.I guarantee that this will be executed under legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. On receipt of your positive response, we shall then discuss the sharing ratio and modalities for the transfer.I have all the necessary information and legal documents needed to back you up this claim. All that is needed is a willing foreigner who will be honest, trustworthy and transperant both in business and in spirit with his or her loyal co-operation to enable us see this transaction through. I once more guarantee that this will be executed under legitimate arrangements that will protect you from any breach of the law. Best Regards,Barr. Lonttos Udoeze.[Esq]
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