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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: "NatWest Bank" <>
Date: Sat, 24 Dec 2005 09:27:06 +0000
Subject: Attn: Carol Ann Hartman

NatWest logo 
National Westminster Bank Plc
PO Box 90
1 Market Street BD1 1EG

Direct Tel: +447023053970
Fax       : +447092860562
Our Ref:NWB/ACC/01
Your Ref:NWB/UK/A4-X6/00

Your particulars have been received in this office.This means that you have been officially cleared for payment by the Verifications Dept. at the headquarters of the Lottery. Your winning cheque,  together with a covering document (Money Laundering protection and Letter of Affidavit for Claims) from the British government stating that the money was obtained legally through their National Lottery promotion will be sent to you as soon as you choose from any of the option stipulated below.
To begin the final step of the claims process, which is the shippment of your winning cheque prize to you. With regards to this, there are Three options open to you, you are required to select the most convenient of the Three.

The options, together with their associated conditions are presented below:You are be required to pay the neccesary courier charges to enable us send you your cheque and other claim documents.Shipping your winning cross cheque to you via any of this channel listed below:

Mailing:   180.00
Insurance: 150.00
Vat:       120.00
TOTAL:    450.00($841.5)


Mailing:   175.00
Insurance: 150.00
Vat:       105.99
TOTAL:      430.99($805.95)

FedEx Express Logo
Mailing:   230.00
Insurance: 170.00
Vat:       120.55
TOTAL:     520.55($973.43)
After Choosing the Preferred Option, the correspondence will be initiated to and from The National Westminster Bank at the details provided below:
BANK NAME: NATWEST BANK Courier Department
NOTE: You are to furnish us with : your most recent identification preferably a copy of your international passport or drivers licence or any other Government Identification which you will present to our staffs at the point of delivery. And your full house address because we do not accept  p.o .box address.

This company decline reverse payment for these charges, stating that it is against their professional policy towards ensuring the safe delivery of the cheque to you. That if a reverse payment is made, and something goes wrong, that we/you cannot sue the courier company or insurance company to recover the full value of the fund as stipulated in the cheque since payment for insurance cover was not made at point of mailing.With the above reason, reverse payment is ruled out. Hence, payment on COD(Cost on delivery) is not allowed in order to avoid misappropriation of Winnings.

Send your response to indicate your option within the next 24hrs,because you only have 10 days to claim this cheque and after this period,your cash prize will be deemed to have been forfeited by you and will be returned to source in order to be reused in the drawings of the next edition of the lottery.

Gordon Pell
Chief Financial Officer                               

**National Westminster Bank Plc, Registered in England No 929027. Registered Office: 135 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 3UR.Regulated by the Financial Services Authority

24-hour telephone service 0845 609 0000(For Emergencies) International +44 (0) 127 439 4611(For Emergencies)

Anti-fraud resources: