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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: Frank Sims <>
Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2006 17:41:23 +0100 (BST)

I am Mr David Peterson , The Manager OF Bills and Exchange at the Foreign Remittance Department of Citi Bank Plc. I am writing this letter to ask for your support and cooperation to carry out this business opportunity in my departments. We discovered an abandoned sum of US$38.5 Million (Thirthy Eight Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars only) in an Account that belongs to one of our foreign customer who died along with his entire family of a wife and two children in November 2002 in Afghanistan. Since we heard of his eath, we have been expecting his next-of-kin to come over and put claims for his money as the heir, because we cannot release the fund from his Account unless someone applies for claim as the next-of-kin to the deceased as indicated in our Banking guidelines.
Unfortunately, neither their family member nor distant relative has
ever appeared to claim the said fund. Upon this discovery, I and other officials in my department have agreed to make business with you and release the Total amount into your Account as the beneficiary of the fund, since no one came for it or discovered he maintained Account with our Bank, otherwise the fund will be returned to the Banks treasury as unclaimed fund. We have agreed that our ratio of sharing will be as stated thus: 30% for you as a foreign
partner, 60% for us the officials in my department and 10% for the settlement of all local and foreign expenses incurred by us and you during the cours of This business. Upon the successful completion of this transfer, I and one of my colleagues will come to your Country and mind our share. It is from our 60% we intend to invest in (estate) as a way of recycling the fund.
To commence this transaction, we require you to immediately indicate
your interest by a return E-mail and enclose your private contact telephone number, fax number including you mobile number, full name and address and your designated Bank coordinates to enable us file letter of claim to the appropriate departments for necessary approvals before the transfer can made.
Note also, this transaction must be kept STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL because of its nature. I look forward to receiving your prompt response.
Yours Faithfully,

"My Verdict: The new Yahoo! Mail is far superior..." – The Wall Street Journal.

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