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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: "joe fr" <>
Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2007 16:47:18 -0600
Subject: Dear Friend,

Dear Friend,
I crave your indulgence as I contact you in such a surprising manner. I respectfully insist you read this mail carefully as I am optimistic it will open door for unimaginable financial reward for both of us.
I am barrister JOE FRANCIS, the personal attorney to late Engr.Robert , a foreigner and an oil merchant/Contractor here in Nigeria, herein shall be referred as my client, On the 21st of April 2002, my client, his wife and their two children were involved in a ghastly auto accident along Shagamu Express Road, unfortunately, all occupants of the vehicle lost their lives.
Since then I have made several enquiries to the Embassy to see if i can locate any of my clients extended family/relatives, this has also proved unsuccessful. I have contacted you to assist in repatriating the money and property left behind by my client before it will get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the Bank where my late client lodged this deposits.
The Bank where the deceased had an account valued at about $7.5million dollars, the management has issued me a notice as the personal attorney to the deceased to provide the next of kin or they will have the account confiscated within the next 21 banking days.
I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin of the deceased, so that the proceeds of this account valued at $7.5million dollars can be paid to you and then you and I can share the money in the following ratio: - - 50% will be given to you for your assistance - 50% will be for me.
All I require is your honest co-operation to enable us see that this transaction succeeds. I will like you to forward your telephone and fax numbers to me for easier communication.
I guarantee that this transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of law.
Please get in touch with me through my private email address: 
Looking forward to your positive response.
Yours faithfully,
Barrister JOE FRANCIS. 
Attorney @Law.

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