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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 by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:

Fraud email example:

Date: Mon, 22 May 2006 13:13:58 +0200



TEL :+27-78 344 9878


I am a staff of bank in Africa. I will give you the name of my bank and other important information if I receive a positive reply from you. For security reasons I cannot disclose my full identity to you now until I am sure of your cooperation. I work in the operations dept where I serve as account officer to numerous customers. One of the customers whom I worked as his account officer was a wealthy diamond merchant from neighboring Sierra Leone. He lost his family in the war. He was lucky to escape alive and came to this country with his wealth intact. Unfortunately he died last year.

Because this man was good to me when he was alive, I took it uponmyself to travel to his country last month, to see if I could locate any of his close relations . On reaching there I discovered that his only surviving uncle died a few months back. I sponsored this trip on my own and nobody in the bank knew I was undertaking the journey so I did not present any official report of my findings in South Africa.

Now there are two things I could do with regards to the dead mans money. First, as his accounts officer, I could formally notify the bank authorities that the man is dead and has no next of kin. In this case the money would be forfeited to the government after some time. As a matter of fact this is the proper thing I am supposed to do.

Another thing I can do is to arrange for someone else, a foreigner, to act as the next of kin of the late man so that he will claim the money. This is the option that I can do to help anybody and myself since the money actually is public fund due to the fact that my friend was a closelly to the late brutal military president that looted government treasury and that is why I have chosen to do it. I want you to be my partner. All you would have to do is act as the next of kin of the dead man and the whole money in the account will be transferred to your account. As the accounts officer to the late man, I have all the necessary documents that you will require to claim the money in the account.

The total money in the account is USD17 million. Your share will be 30% which is USD5,100,000. My own share will be 69%, which is USD11,730,000. We shall keep 1% which is USD170,000 for expenses. Reach me immediately by mail so that I can give you further details.Also provide me your direct tel/fax to reach you.

Yours truly,


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