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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: "Mike Kona" <>
Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2008 16:13:30 +0200
Subject: Hello

*Dear **, *
**My name is Mr.Mike Kona, a Banker with one of the leading banks here in
Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire West Africa; I am the personal accounts manager to
Mr.Alex **, who used to be a contractor with an oil servicing company
based here in Cote Ivoire. My client, his wife, and their three children
were involved in the ill fated Kenya** Airways crash in the coasts of
Abidjan** on 30th January 2000 in which all passengers on board died. Since
then I have made several inquiries to locate any of my clients extended
relatives but has been unsuccessful. I decided to trace his last name over
the internet, to see if I could locate any member of his family hence I
contacted you, of particular interest is this large deposit with our bank
here, where the deceased has an account valued at about ($6 million US
dollars) *

*They have issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or the bank will
declare the account unserviceable and thereby send the funds to the
government treasury. Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the
relatives for over last 6 years now, I seek your consent to present you as
the next of kin of the deceased since you have the same last names, so that
the proceeds of this account valued at can be paid to you and then you and I
can share the money. *

*All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us seeing this deal
through. I guarantee that this will be executed under all legitimate
arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. If you can
handle this with me please I need your response with your contact such as
phone and fax number for more discussions.
Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.
*Best Regards
Mr Mike Kona.*

Anti-fraud resources: