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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: "PETER ELLIS" <> (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2005 21:09:52 +0100
Subject: Next of kin/let hear from you

Dear Sir,
Top of the day and I wish you a blessed 2005.
I am Barrister Peter Ellis of NORMAN & ASSOCIATES. This mail is
written to solicit your assistance to be presented as next of kin to my
Late Client. Neal Walker of 75 Oregon city Oregon, U.S. A. He made a
fixed Deposit valued at USD15M (Fifteen Million United States Dollars
Only) with a Security Firm here in London . Unfortunately he lost his
life aboard Egypt Air Flight 990, which crashed into the Atlantic Ocean
on October 31,1999 (View: He left no
clear beneficiary as Next of Kin excepting some vital documents related
to the Deposit which i have in my posession.
The Governing Body of the bank has contacted me on this matter and I am
yet to provide the Next of Kin to lay claim to the Fund.
Under a clear and legitimate agreement with you, I shall seek your
consent to be presented as the next of Kin so that my late Clients'
will not be confiscated by the Government.
For the sake of transparency on this matter, you are free to make
immediate contact with me through my mail
for further information related to this matter.
Thank you very much for your anticipated acceptance while i expect
your prompt response.

Yours faithfully,

Peter Ellis.

Anti-fraud resources: