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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: "Alan Toit" <>
Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2005 12:21:33 +0100
Subject: Business Proposal

Dear Sir/madam,
It is my great pleasure to write you this letter on behalf of my colleagues.
Your information were given to me by a member of the South African Export
Promotion Council (SAEPC) who was with the Black Economic Empowerment Commission
(Government) delegation on a trip to the West for bilateral conference talk
to encourage foreign investors.
I have decided to seek a confidential co-operation with you in execution
of a deal hereunder for the benefit of all parties, and hope you will keep
it confidential because of the nature of this business.
Within the Department of Mineral & Energy (DME) where I work as the Director
of Project Implementation, with co-operation of two other top officials,
we have in our possession, an overdue payment in US funds.
The said funds represent certain percentage of the contract value executed
on behalf of my department by a foreign contracting firm.Though the actual
contract cost has been paid to the original contractor, leaving the excess
balance unclaimed the amount i will disclose to you upon the receipt of your
The Government of the Republic of South Africa believe that private investment
in general, and foreign direct investment in particular, are the real engines
for sustainable economic development, for which reason it has continued to
encouraged investment in the key growth-oriented sector of Mining with sincere
determination to pay foreign contractors all debts owed to them, so as to
continue to enjoy close relationship, and mutually beneficial co-operation
with foreign governments and non-governmental financial agencies.
As a result we included our bills for approvals with the co-operation of
some officials at the Department of Finance and the Reserve Bank of South
Africa (RBSA). We are seeking your assistance to be the beneficiary of the
unclaimed funds, since we are not allowed to operate foreign account. The
changing of beneficiary's information/ details and other forms of ocumentation
upon application for claim to reflect the contract money and its approvals
will be secured on behalf of your company or your self.
It does not matter whether or not your company does contract projects of
the nature described here. The assumption is that your company won the major
contract and subcontracted it to other companies. More often than not, big
trading companies and firms of unrelated fields win major contracts, and
subcontract to more specialized firms for execution.
This business itself is 100% safe, provided you treat it with utmost confidentiality.
Also your specialization is not a hindrance to the successful execution of
this mutual beneficiary transaction. I have reposed my confidence in you
and hope that you will not disappoint us.
Kindly notify me for further details, via myprivate email ,upon your acceptance
of this proposal.
Upon the receipt of your response, we will discuse the scope of the transaction
and work out an agreement on the sharing pattern.
Thank you very much and I look forward to a very fruitful relationship with
Yours faithfully,
Mr Alan D Toit


Book yourself something to look forward to in 2005.
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