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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: "Rev William Richard" <> (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 2 Aug 2005 19:26:56 -0700
Subject: PLS HELP

Dear Friend,
I'm Rev William Richard a kuwait citizen, transfered to Asia Dioceses in Malaysia, after the war that happen in Iraq. And the sole owner of (Kumar Foundation!!)but made fame in Iraq.I've been into helping the ophans for the past10 years. I became a great man when i had a licence to be an international crude oil maketer 5 years Ago.
I've help so many orphanages homes,needy homes and the less priviledge accross the African continents,with the wealth God gave to me.The last conflicts that happened in Iraq made me to loose all i've worked for.
I lost entire all i've worked for.Now i am very ill with cancer. The doctor said i've a little more time to stay in this planet.My good friend,i want you to do me a favour.i will want you to assist me with the distribution of funds to ophans that you know in your country.
I kept some amount of money in a private security and Finance company,here in Malaysia Asia country where i am now and this amount is usd$6 million dollars.
I want you to take the place of my next of Kin.I'm doing this base on the short time i've on Earth. Please this should be confidential between you and me.
If this transaction is sucessful,which i believe it would. i will want you to take 20% /10% will be for all the expenses and 70% should be distributed amongst the
orphanage homes in Africa/And your country . Please get back to me Urgently,as i am sending you this mail via my foundations email. As soon as you are willing i will give my personaly lawyer contacts he will adivce you on what to do pls

May God bless you

Rev William Richard.

Anti-fraud resources: