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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: "Mr. Richards" <> (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2006 09:35:35 -0700
Subject: Your honesty required for partnership

Dear Friend,

First, I must apologise to you for using this medium to communicate about this transaction, though it is my great pleasure in writing you this letter on behalf of my colleague and myself. I am Mr. Richards Thiam the Director of Bill and Exchange at the Foreign Remittance Department in the bank where I work. I am writing to you this urgent proposal following the impressive information about you through one of my friends who runs a consultancy firm. Though, I did not disclose to him the nature of my proposal to you to avoid any leakage. My colleague and I have decided to contact you on a business transaction that will be very beneficial to both of us at the end. I would be brief and direct to ensure you understand everything properly.

In my department we discovered an abandoned Sum of $13.7M USD ( Thirteen Million, Seven Hundred Thousand US Dollars), in an account that belongs to one of our foreign customers, an American by name: Mr. John Schelpert who died along with his wife and other passengers in EgyptAir Flight 990 - October 31, 1999. Since we got information about his untimely death, the fund has been dormant in his account with my Bank without any claim, we have been expecting his next of kin to come over and claim his money because we cannot release it unless somebody applies for it as next of kin or relation to the deceased and the person must be a foreigner as indicated in our banking guidelines. Before our observation in this development, we discovered that the owner of the account died without a Heir/WILL hence the money is floating and if I do not remit this money out urgently it will be forfeited for nothing. The Banking law and guideline here stipulates that !
if such money remained unclaimed after Six (6) years, the money will be transfered into the Bank treasury account as unclaimed fund. It is therefore upon this discovery that I and my junior colleague in the bank now decided to make this businness proposal to you and release the money to you as the next of kin or relation to the deceased for safety and subsequent disbursement since nobody is coming for it and we do not want this money to go into the Bank treasury as unclaimed Bill.

Meanwhile the whole arrangement to put claim over these fund as the bonafide next of kin to the deceased and transfer this money to a foreign account has been put in place. Directives and needed information will be relayed to you as soon as you indicate your interest and willingness to assist us and also benefit from this great business opportunity. We could have done this deal on our own, but because of our position in this country operating a local account would eventually raise an eye brow on my side during the time of transfer because I work in this bank.

This is the actual reason why it will require foreigner as second party that will forward claims as the next of kin to the Bank and also present a designated safe foreign account where he will need the money to be transferred into after due
verification and clearification by the bank. May I at this point emphasize that this transaction is a successful arrangement, and as an insider of the bank I have the capacity to monitor that everything is smoothly perfected. On smooth conclusion of this transaction, you will be entitled to your own share of the total sum as gratification We have agreed that 20 % of this money will be for you as our foreign partner, in respect to the provision of a foreign account, 5% will be set aside for expenses incured during the business and 75% would be for me and my colleague. There after I and my colleague will visit your country for disbursement according to the percentages indicated.

This share of yours is negotiable as long as it is reasonable. Please, you have been adviced to keep this information a top secret as we are still in service and intend to retire from service after we conclude this deal with you. I will be monitoring the whole situation here in this bank until you confirm the money in your account and ask us to come down to your country for subsequent sharing of the fund according to percentages we shall agree upon. All other necessary information will be sent to you on your acceptance to champion this transaction with us.

I suggest you get back to me as soon as possible, stating your wish in this deal. Please do call me on my direct line for more clearifications: 00 221 482 9179

Thanks and best regards.

Yours faithfully,

Mr. Richards Thiam
Telephone: 00 221 482 9179

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