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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: "Mikel Beke" <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2011 16:56:34 -0700

From: Mikel Beke                                    
Tel: +447092984746
Fax: +447043093721
Date: 3rd August 2011
Rabo Bank International London UK                                                                                                                                                       
                                                            PRIVATE AND URGENT.
I am Mr. Mikel Beke, and I am contacting you on business transfer of a huge sum of money from a deceased account. Though I know that a transaction of this magnitude will make anyone apprehensive and worried, but I am assuring you that all will be well at the end of the day. I decided to contact you due to the urgency of this transaction.
I am the account officer to Jose Ferreira (deceased) one of our foreign customers. While he banked with us, I oversaw his accounts and other official/financial obligations as my office demanded being his accounts officer.Unfortunately, he died along with his entire family in the plane crash alongside other passengers, which details will be given to you upon your response. While he was alive, none of his family members was ever known to me other than his immediate nuclear family.Since his death, none of his next-of-kin or relations has come forward to lay claims to this money as the heir. I cannot release the fund from his account unless someone applies for claim as the next-of-kin to the deceased as indicated in our banking guidelines. Having made a very frantic and exhaustive search for any family member that would lay claim to this fund, I decided to take my chance with you. Now I seek your permission to have you stand as next of kin to the deceased as I have all documentations inc
1. Beneficiary name and address
2. Direct Telephone and fax numbers
These requirements will enable me make some internal re-adjustments and file your name in all the forms and other vital documents as next of kin which before now was left blank by the deceased upon opening of the account Ten years ago. Upon your reply, I will advice the way forward. I must assure you that if you are serious and follow my lead religiously, then these funds will be released to you within a seven-working-day period. If this proposal is acceptable by you, do not take undue advantage of the trust I have bestowed in you, I await your Urgent Reply.
Mr. Mikel Beke.

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