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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: Francis Owen <>
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2007 21:29:47 -0800 (PST)

From The Office Of
Barrister Francis Owen
17 Jean Paul Road
Lagos Nigeria.

I am Barrister Francis Owen a solicitor at law. Personal attorney to one Engineer Thompson Van egdom a national of your country,who used to work with Shell Development Company in Lagos Nigeria. Here in after shall be referred to as my client.

On the 21st of April 2003, my client, his wife and their only daughter were involved in a car accident along Lagos/Ibadan express Road. All occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost there lives. Since then I have made several enquiries to your embassy here to locate any of my clients extended relatives, this has also proved unsuccessful.

After these several unsuccessful attempts,I decided to track his last name over the Internet, to locate any member of his family hence I contacted you.I have contacted you to assist in repartrating the fund valued at US$10.5 million left behind by my client before it gets confisicated or declared unserviceable by the Stanbic Merchant Bank of Nigeria Plc, where this huge amount were deposited.

The said bank,Stanbic Merchant Bank of Nigeria Plc has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or have his account confisicated within the next twenty one official working days.

Since I have been unsuccesfull in locating the relatives for years now, I seek the consent to present you as the next of kin to the deceased hence there is no way I can not see any of his relatives,so that the proceeds of this account can be paid to you.

Therefore, on receipt of your positive response,we shall then discuss the sharing ratio and modalities for transfer.I have all necessary information and legal documents needed to back you up for claim.

All I require from you is your honest co-operation to enable us see this transaction through. I guarantee that this will be executed under legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. Please get in touch with me through my alternative email ( or the above email for more details.

Best Regards.

Francis Owen.
Francis Chambers.

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