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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: "MR.JAMES MARK" <>
Date: Fri, 30 May 2008 11:08:46 -0700

Avenida santo Centrum
25, 28004 Cotonou-Benin <>
DATE:18th July 2007.

My Dear Friend, Best Wishes to You!

I am a senior Accountant in my Bank and account officer to MR,Dave
Marsden who was a contractor with the government of BENIN. On The 21st
of october 2004, my customer, his wife and their two children were
involved in auto-crash along the ever busy Tokpa High Way Cotonou.
All occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost their lives. Since
then,the Board of Directors of my Bank have made several enquires to
their embassy to locate any of my customer's extended relations but to no

I have contacted you to assist in repatriating the money and Property
left behind by my client before they get Confiscated or declared
unserviceable by the bank where this Huge deposits of (USD10M) Ten million
Dollars was lodged.

The Bank has published several Notice for the Next of Kin of the
deceased to apply for collection of this Funds or have the account
confiscated within a shot Period of time.Since I have been unsuccessful in
the relatives for over 2 years now I seek your consent to present you
as the Next of kin of the deceased, so that the proceeds of this Account
valued at US10 million dollars can be paid to you and Then you and me can
share the money.

I have all necessary legal documents that can be used to backup any
claim we may make. All I require is your honest cooperation to enable
this deal through.I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate
Arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the Law.

Please get in touch with my email and send to me your Telephone and fax
numbers to enable us further this Transaction. Please reply this letter to
my alternative (<>)
for security reasons.

Best regards,
Mr. James Mark,

Anti-fraud resources: