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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: "Joseph Shankah" <>
Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 15:23:36 +0000
Subject: Important Message From Mr.Joseph Shankah

The Christ Church,
31, Damadu St, Abidjan,
Ivory Coast.

My Dear Friend,

Notification of Bequest

On behalf of the trustees and executors to the Will of late Engr.Philip J
Kim I have tried to reach you by mail through your postal address but the
letter was returned undelivered. I now try your address as I wish to notify
you that you were named as a beneficiary to the bequest of the sum of
US$3,000,000.00 [Three Million United States Dollars] in the codicil and
last testament of the deceased.

The late Engr.Philip J Kim, until his death was a former managing director
and pioneer staff of a giant construction company. He was a very dedicated
Christian and A strong member of my parish. He was a great philanthropist
and this earned him a papal award during his life time.

Late Engr.Philip J Kim died on 9Th Ma rch, 2004 and was buried on the 20Th
of the same month. His will is now in execution. Late Engr.Philip J Kim
lived and worked here as a foreigner but requested before his death that he
be buried here. In his words, "I regard here as my home and the people as my
people" He said that this token is to either support your Charity activities
or to encourage you to engage in helping the less privileged.

As a sign of identification and to enable the attorney file necessary
documents at our high court probate division for the release of the bequest,
the trustees requires you to confirm the following:
1. Your full name,
2 Your Address
3. Your Date of birth,
4. Your occupation,
5. Your current telephone and fax numbers.

Note: If there is a change of address, send also the current contact
address. When responding to this mail, include the above required
information and also a copy of this mail.

Please send your reply to my private email address ( ).

Thanks and remain blessed.

Yours in his service,
Mr.Joseph Shankah

Anti-fraud resources: