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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: "Williams Gerald" <>
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 10:22:49 +0100
Subject: Dear Reply Through My Alternative Email( )

Dear Reply Through My Alternative Email( )

Accounting Officer
Williams Gerald(Ph.d)

I am a senior Accountant in my Bank and Accounting officer to MR.RAYMOND
BECK who was a contractor with the government of BENIN. On The 21st of April
2001, my customer, his wife and their two children were involved in
auto-crash along the ever busy Tokpa High Way.

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 avail. 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 US$22M 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 locating 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 US$22 million dollars can be paid to you and Then you and me can
share the money,60% to me and 40% to you. 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 toenable us further
about this Transaction. Please reply this letter to my alternative for
security Purpose:

Best regards,
Williams Gerald(Ph.d)

Anti-fraud resources: