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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: Sun, 09 Jul 2006 02:01:25 +0100

Compliments of the day to you.

I am Macarthy Oyebo, a member of the Contract Review Panel, Federal Ministry Of Environment (FME), Nigeria.

I am writing you this letter with the hope that we can work together on a mutually beneficial business that will bring gains to you and I if we can arrive at a compromise to work together in harmony.

This profitable venture involves some amount of money which is presently in an escrow account of the Central bank. We need your help as a foreigner to help transfer this money. We cannot make this transfer on our own or in our names for the fact that we are civil servants (still in active service). But you as a foreigner can assist us in the sense that the money to be transferred will be paid to you as money meant for investment purpose. The money in question is ready for transfer into an account which we expect you to provide.

We have agreed that the money will be shared according to the ratio that will be agreed upon
before commencement of business. We at this moment require from you:
a) Full names and mailing address of Company/ Beneficiary.
b) Contact telephone and fax numbers.
The above requirements is to initiate and faclitate the transfer of the money. Be informed that the reason we are sending you this letter is because we know that the only way to succeed is to seek the help of a foreigner. Your professional status is not a matter of hindrance in this transaction. Please, your assistance is highly solicited. We have no doubts at all that this money will be released and transferred if we get the necessary foreign partner to assist us in this deal.

All expenses regarding the opening of an account if not already in existence shall be borne by you, All expenses are however reimbursable on the conclusion of this business transaction. It is of high hope that you will consider this request and respond positively. If you are still in doubt after the receipt of this letter please do not hesitate to contact and ask any question(s) that may hinder your decision on this matter.
Please an acknowledgement of the receipt of this letter will be appreciated.

It is after the successful transfer of the funds that we can begin to look into investment
possibilities with you as a partner in a joint venture.

While awaiting your early response, thank you in anticipation of your most valued assistance. If you think it is worth giving some thought do let me know so that I can send you details.

In anticipation of an early reply.

Truly yours,

Macarthy Oyebo.

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