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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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Fraud email example:

From: Todd Hansonn <> (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 20 Oct 2004 23:21:22 -0400
Subject: Good Day.

Bills & Exchange Department
Irish Nationwide Building Society
18 Donegall Square East,
Belfast,BTI 5HE
Northern Ireland.


I am contacting you in regards to a business transfer of a huge sum of money from a deceased customer's account who On the 25th of July 2000, the deceased, his wife and their two Children died in the Air France
concord plane crash bound for New York in their plan for a world cruise.

Although I know that a transaction of this magnitude might make anyone apprehensive,I would like to assure you that we are sending you this mail with the best of intensions.

Since then We have been trying to get this funds out of the bank, the sum of US$13,450,000.00 (Thirteen Million,Four Hundred and fifty Thousand United States Dollars) in an account that belongs to our foreign customers who died along with his entire family in the above accident
stated above.
Since his death, none of his next-of-kin or relations has come forward to lay claims to this money as the heir. We 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. Upon this discovery,
we now seek your permission to have you stand as a next of kin to the deceased as all documentations will be carefully worked out by us for the funds (US$13,450,000.00) to be released in your favour as the beneficiary's next of kin.
It may interest you to know that we have secured from the probate court, an order of madamus to locate any of the deceased beneficiaries.
Please acknowledge receipt of this message in acceptance of our mutual business endeavour by furnishing me with the following;
1. Your Full Names and Address.
2. Direct Telephone and Fax numbers.
These requirements will enable us file a letter of claim to the
appropriate departments for necessary approvals in your favour before the transfer can be made. We shall be compensating you with 3 Million Dollars on final conclusion of this project, while the rest shall be for us.
Your share stayswith you while the rest shall be for us for investment purposes in your country.
If this proposal is acceptable by you, do not take undue advantage of the trust we have bestowed in you, I await your urgent response to this email.
Mr.Todd Hansonn.

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