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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:

From: mary bakuma <>
Date: Sun, 9 Jul 2006 13:18:49 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: Madam Mary Bakuma

From;Madam Mary Bakuma
Tel;225 0800 6902.

My Dear,

It is my pleasure to contact you for a business venture which I intend to establish in your country.

Though I have not met with you before but I believe one has to risk confiding in his fellow human being to succeed sometimes in life.

I want to confide on you for a brighter future of my two sons since you are a human being like me.

There is this huge amount of Fifteen Million five hundred thousand United States dollars ($15.500.000.00) which my late husband deposited with a Bank here in Abidjan Cote D'ivoire before he was assassinated by unknown persons.

Now I decided to invest this money in your country or anywhere safe enough for security and political reasons.

I need you to help me claim and retrieve this fund from the Bank and transfer it into your personal account in your country for investment purposes you may advice us.

If you can be of an assistance to us we will be pleased to offer to you 10% Of the total fund.

You can call my son Musa for more explanation on this number: 00225 0800 6902

I await your soonest response.

Respectfully yours,

Mrs Mary Bakuma & Son Musa.

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Anti-fraud resources: