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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: "Barrister Wilson Donald" <>
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 08:04:18 +0100


My name is Wilson Donald. I am the personal attorney to late Mr. Thomas. A
foreign contractor who was awarded two different contracts with shell
Petroleum Development Company here in Nigeria before his untimely demise On
the 10th of June 2005. However, my client and his wife including their only
Son were involved in a car accident along Abba express road kiriki, all
occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost their lives.Since then I have
made several enquiries to locate any of my client extended relatives but
this has proved unsuccessful.

I contacted you to assist in recovering the Fund valued at {USD$3.2Million}
three million two hundred thousand United States Dollars, executed contract
fund that was approved in favor of my
late client. This fund is the proposed payment for the contract he executed
with the shell Petroleum Development Company here before his untimely demise
On the 10th of June 2005. The Bank has issued me a notice to provide the
next of kin or have the fund confiscated within the next three Weeks of
official working days.

Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over two years
now, I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin to the deceased
so that the proceeds of this contract fund can be paid to you and we shall
negotiate on how this fund will be utilized. Therefore, on receipt of your
positive response, we shall then discuss modalities for the transfer.

I have all necessary information and legal Documents needed to back you up
for the claim. All I required from you is your honest and maximum
co-operations to enable us see that this transaction emerges successful. I
guarantee you that this will be executed under legitimate arrangement that
will protect you from any breach of the law.

Finally, your telephone and fax numbers are urgently needed for easy
communication. Hope to hear from you soon.

Barrister Wilson Donald.

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