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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: "david williams" <>
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2007 13:41:20 +0000
Subject: From Ecobank Manager

Dear Friend,


I know this message will come to you as a surprise since we do not know each
other before, but for the purpose of introduction, I am David Williams,
Operations manager,ECOBANK PLC Lagos.There is an account opened in this bank
in 1999. After going through some old files in the records, I discovered
that nobody has operated in this account since 2002.

From our records, the owner of this account is Mr. Michael Garcia, {a
foreigner, a miner at Kruger Gold. Co. and a geologist by profession}. After
several notifications as a routine to the address of this distinguished
customer of ours, his employees told our management that Mr. Michael Garcia,
died when a Kenyan Airways plane crashed along the coast of West Africa in

My investigation proved to me that no other person knows about this account
or anything concerned it, the company does not know anything about this
account as well, the account has no beneficiary. This account presently
accommodates an amount involving $22.000,000.00 USD,(Twenty Two Million
United State Dollars) With all due respect, I am contacting you because of
my need to involve a reliable foreign beneficiary with a foreign account,
who will coordinate this transaction. I would like you to assist me and
claim these funds to your account.

In the recent meeting held by the Board of Directors of our bank, who
deliberated on the issue of unclaimed funds in our bank, and thereafter they
the motion as contained in the article 13 (b) sub-section (iv) of the
minutes of the BOD's meeting. I need your full co-operation to make this
transaction successful to any foreign party who has correct information
regarding this account. Which I will transfer to you immediately if you are
capable and willing to handle the amount in question with confidence and
trust according to my instructions and advice for our mutual benefit. This
is a life time opportunity I wish to share with you.

I need a trustworthy person do to the nature of the business transaction, I
need your assurance of discretion. I assure you that with my present
position in the office I am able to transfer this money to foreign account
of which you can provide assurance that this money will be safe and well
guided pending my arrival in your country for distribution.

I will destroy all documentation of this transaction at my office
immediately after the transfer thus leaving no trace to any place. I will
use my position and influence to guarantee legal approvals and transfer of
this money to your account with the appropriate clearance forms according to
the ministry for foreign exchange.

If you are in acceptance, reply immediately with your full name and
address,telephone,fax numbers, mobile numbers, your Age and your Occupation.

At the conclusion of this business I have agreed to share the money with you
in the ratio of 40% of the total amount for you and 60% will be for me.

Please reply quickly so I will inform you the next steps to relinquish these
funds immediately.

I look forward to your earliest reply.

Yours Truly,

David Williams.

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