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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: Elisa Balma <>
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 2006 15:57:00 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Dearest One,

Dearest One,

Good day and compliment of the season!.
My name is Elisa Balma, from Sierra Leone. My father and I escaped from our country at the heat of the civil war after loosing my mother and two of my senior brothers in the war.As a result of the political instability in my country even after the war, my father established his cocoa and coffee export business in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. He was in Buake, a northern city to negotiate for the purchase of a cocoa plantation when he was shot and killed by the rebel troupes fighting to take over the government of the country on the 22nd September, 2002.

I am only 18 years old Girl. I leave alone because I don't want the people who killed my late Father, to kill me too.I will be very happy if you promised me that you will keep this secret until this money arrival your care in your country.My late Father deposited the sum of Nine million Five hundred thousand US dollars.USD ($9.5million ) she left in suspense account in one of the bank here in Abidjan,It was the money he intended to transfer overseas for investment.

Because of the current political problem here in Ivory Coast I decided to transfer the money to abroad where it will be save and invested. Please I am contacting you for your assistance, to help me because i don't have anyone in here to help me and I don't have money to travel from here to any country please I need your assistance to stand by me and and help me to transfer the money to your account in your country for future investment.
Please if you are willing to assist me i will offer you 20% of the total money and You will also provide investment programme where the money will be invested properly when it arrival your hand safely.
Thanks and May God bless you.
I wait to hear from you.
Miss. Elisa Balma.

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