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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: "martin alberto" <>
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2006 15:47:07 +0000
Subject: Good Day

From Mr Martin Alberto.
Cotonou Benin Republic.

My Dear Friend

This letter must come to you as a big surprise, but I believe it is only a
day that people meet and become great friends and business partners. My
name is Mr Martin Alberto , the present branch Manager of a bank here in
Benin Republic West Africa. I write you this proposal in good faith,
believing that I can trust you with the information I am about to reveal to
you. Like I said, I have a transaction that will benefit both of us, as
your assistance is required as a foreigner.

I use to head the Accounts department in my bank head office, but last
December I was asked to take position of a Manager of our branch in Cotonou
who passed on, so that was how I became the present Manager and discovered a
fortune. As I resumed duty, I discovered an account with total sum of $25.5
million that has not been operated on for the past 4 years. From my
investigation, I found out that this account belongs to one Late Mr.Ziya
Bazhayev a Russian big time Oil dealer, who unfortunately lost his life in
the Yak-40 jetliner on March 9, 2000.

I have kept a close monitoring of the account since then and nobody has come
forward to claim the money as next of kin to the late Mr.Ziya Bazhayev
meaning that no one is aware of the account. I cannot directly take out
this money without the help of a foreigner and that is why I am contacting
you for an assistance to claim the funds and share it with me. As the
Manager of my bank branch, I have the power to influence the release of the
funds to any foreigner that comes up as the next of kin to the account, with
the correct information concerning the account, which I shall give you.

I am seeking your co-operation to present you as the next of kin to the
account. There is practically no risk involved, the transaction will be
executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any
breach of law.

If you accept to work with me, I want you to state how you wish us to share
the funds in percentage, so that both parties will be satisfied. Contact me
as soon as you receive this message if you feel we can work together, so as
to give you more details.

Thanking you in advance and may God bless you. Please, treat with utmost
confidentiality. I wait your urgent response.

Regards, My private

Mr.Martin Alberto.

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