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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.Stephen Mensah" <>
Date: Mon, 2 Jun 2008 02:48:05 -0800
Subject: From: The Desk Of Regional Manager.

From: The Desk Of Regional Manager.
International Commercial Bank.
(ICB) Tema Branch Accra Ghana.

My Good Friend,

Before I introduce myself, I wish to inform you that this mail is not a hoax
mail and I urge you to treat it with seriousness. This letter must come to
you as a big surprise, but I believe it is only a day that people meet and
become great friends and business partners. My name is Mr. Stephen Mensah.

The present branch Manager Of a bank here in Ghana . I write you this
proposal in good faith, believing that I can trust you with the information
I am about to reveal to you. Like I said, I have a transaction that will
benefit both of us, as your assistance is required as a foreigner. I use to
work as head of the Accounts department in my bank head office, but last
December I was asked to take position of a Manager at one of our branches to
replace the former who passed on, so that was how I became the present
Manager and discovered a Fortune.

As I resumed duty, during my routine check and taking over, I discovered an
account with a substantial sum of money in United States dollars that has
been floating and unaccounted for the past 4 years. From my investigation, I
discovered that the branch in which I am the manager, made excess profit
from an accrued interest on money deposited by the Economic community of
West African states contract payment committee, and the money has been
floating. In fact, I have PLACED this fund in an ESCROW CALL ACCOUNT without
a legitimate beneficiary and which will change to your name as soon as you
identify your interest in writing.

The escrow call account is a secret type of account in my bank and no other
person knows about this account or any thing concerning it, the account has
no other beneficiary. I have kept a close monitoring of the account since
then. As the branch manager of the bank, I cannot directly take out this
money without the help of a foreigner and that is why I am contacting you
for an assistance to claim the funds and share it with me.

I have the power to influence the release of the funds to any foreigner that
comes up as the depositor of the money, with the correct information
concerning the account, which I shall give you. Your responsibility will be
to assist me move the fund to your country. It's going to be a Bank-to-Bank
transfer and I need to assure you that there are no risks involved in this
Business. The transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement
that will protect you from any breach of law. If you accept to work with me,
I want you to state how you wish us to share the funds in percentage, so
that both parties will be satisfied.

Contact me as soon as you receive this message if you feel we can work
together, so we can go over the details. Thanking you in advance and May God
bless you. Please, treat with utmost confidentiality.
I wait your urgent response.

Best Regards,
Mr Stephen Mensah <>

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