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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: "mila zongo" <>
Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2005 20:16:01 +0000

public relation office

dear friend,

I am the manager of bill and exchange at the foriegn remittance department
of BANK OF AFRICA. I am writing, following the impressive information about
you through one of my friends WORKS WITH THE BURKINA CHAMBERS firm.

In my department we discovered an abandoned sum of $U.S15.5Million dollars
(fifteen million five hundred thousand US dolloars) in an account that
belongs to one of our foriegn customer who died along with his entire family
in November 1999 in a plane crash.

Since we got information about his death, we have been expecting his next of
kin to come over and claim his money because we cannot release it unless
some body applies for it as next of kin or relation to the deceased as
indicated in our banking guidlines and laws but unfortunately we learnt
that all his supposed next of kin or relation died alongside with him at
the plane crash leaving nobody behind for the claim. It is therefore upon
this discovery that I and other officials in my department now decided to
make this business proposal to you and release the money to you as the next
of kin or relation to the deceased for safety and subsequent disbursement
since nobody is coming for it and we don't want this money to go into the
bank treasury as unclaimed bill.

The banking law and guidling here stipulates that if such money remained
unclaimed after six years the money will be transfered into the bank
treasury as unclaimed fund. The request of foreigner as next of kin in this
business is occassioned by the fact that the customer was a foreigner and a
Burkinabe cannot stand as next of kin to a foreigner.

We agree that 30% of this money will be for you as a foreign partner, in
respect to the provision of a foriegn account, 10% will be set aside for
expenses occured during the business and 60% would be for me and my
colleagues. There after I and my colleagues will visit your country for
disbursement according to the percentage indicated.

Therefore, to enable the immediate transfer of this fund to you as arranged,
you must apply first to the bank as relation or next of kin of the deceased
indicating your bank name, your bank account number, your private telephone
and fax number for easy and effective communication and
location wherein the money will be remitted.

Upon receipt of your reply, I will send to you by fax or email the text of
the application. I will not fail to bring to your notice that this
transaction is hitch -free and that you should not entertain any atom of
fear as all required arrangements have been made for the transfer.

You should contact me immediately as soon as you recieve this letter.
Yours faithful
Bill & Exchange Manager

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