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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: Valerie Obana <>
Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2008 06:08:07 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Please I need your help.

Dearest beloved One,
I am Miss Valerie Obana a native of Sierra Leone but presently in Abidjan a city in Ivory Coast (Cote d Ivoire). I saw your profile today in my private search when I was looking for someone that can be trusted, so I decided to contact you and I hope you will be able to assist me in this. Please
after reading this e-mail have pity on me.

I know this mail will come as surprise. I am 21 years old, it is my pleasure communicating with you for the first time and believing that it will lead to a better relationship between us. I have an inheritance that my late father left for me in the security company here in Ivory Coast.

Before the death of my late father in a private hospital in Sierra Leone he secretly called me on his bed side and told me that he has a box in the security company that is containing $12.500.000. Twelve million, five hundred thousand dollars, I would want you help me to retrieve the box from
the security company and invest the money over there in your country. This amount US$12.500.000, I want you to stand as my father business partner and my foreign beneficiary in claiming the box from the security company here. I am ready to offer you 20% of the total money if only you assist me to
claim the box and assist me also in investing the money in any lucrative business. I will give you more detail and forward all vital information as soon as I hear from you.

Best Regards.
Miss Valerie.

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