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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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Some comments about the following email:

Fraud email example:

From: Mrs.Shelley Mervin John <>
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 15:37:01 +0100

Greetings in the name of the Lord,

I am Mrs. Shelley Mervin John, nationality Vienna Austria. I am married to Dr. Mervin John of united state who worked with Chevron Texaco as oil consultant/contractor in Africa for twenty years before he died in the year 2000.We were married for twenty-seven years without a child. He died during one of the riot in the Niger delta region .He was held hostage and slain to death by protesting youths of the region.

Before his death we were both born again Christians. Since his death I decided not to re-marry. When my late husband was alive he made a numbered time (Fixed) deposited for twelve calendar months, valued at $8 m. usd (eight Million U.S.Dollars) with account and pin/code number (XXX0648335897XX). With a security financial firm in Europe. Meanwhile, this money is still with the bank and the management just wrote me as the beneficiary to come forward to receive the money or rather issue a letter of authorization to somebody to receive it on my behalf Presently,

I am with my laptop in a hospital where I have been undergoing treatment for cancer of the lungs. I have since lost my ability to talk and my doctors have told me that I have only a few months to live. It is my last wish to see that this money is invested and proceed at the end of every year distributing items among charity organization. I want a person that is God fearing that will use this money to fund churches, orphanages and widows propagating the word of God and to ensure that the house of God is maintained. The Bible made us to understand that Blessed is the hand that giveth.I took this decision because I know that there are a lot of poor people suffering from different kind of disease and nobody to come to their aid.

With God all things are possible. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the Security Company. I will also issue you a letter of authority that will prove you as the new beneficiary of this fund and You will be entitled to 40%. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated here in. Hoping to hearing from you soon.

Pease contact me through:
Yours in Christ,

Mrs. Shelley Mervin John

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