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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: Mr Stewart Barculo <>
Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2007 04:48:13 -0700

Standard Life House,
30 Lothian Road,
Edinburgh EH1 2DH


I am Stewart Barculo, Staff Standard Life Bank Limited.I am contacting you
concerning a deceased customer and an investment he placed under our banks
management three years ago.I would respectfully request that you keep the contents
of this mail confidential and respect the integrity of the information you come by
as a result of this mail.

I contacted you independently of our investigation and no one is informed of this
communication. I would like to intimate you with certain facts that I believe would
be of interest to you.In 2000, the subject matter; came to our bank to engage in
business iscussions
with our private banking division. He informed us that he had a financial portfolio
of Fifty million united states dollars,which he wished to have us turn over
(invest) on his behalf.I was the officer assigned to his case, I made numerous
suggestions in line with my duties as the de-facto chief operations officer of the
private banking sector, especially given the volume of funds he wished to put into
our bank. We met on numerous occasions prior to any investments being placed. I
encouraged him to consider various growth funds with prime ratings. The favored
route in my advise to customers is to start by assessing data on 6000 traditional
stocks and bond managers and 2000 managers of alternative investments. Based on my
advice, We spun the money around various opportunities and made attractive margins
for our first months of operation, the accrued profit and interest stood at this
point at over ten million United States Dollars, this margin was not the full
potential of the fund but he desired low risk guaranteed returns on investments.

In mid 2001, he asked that the money be liquidated because he needed to make an
urgent investment requiring cash payments in here in the united kingdom. He
directed that I liquidate the funds and deposit it with a security firm. I informed
him that SMITH & WILLIAMSON would have to make special arrangements to have this
done and in order not to circumvent due process, the bank would have to make a 9.5
% deduction from the funds to cater for banking and statutory charges. He
complained about the charges but later came around when I explained to him the
complexities of the task he was asking of us. Cash movement across boarders has
become especially strict since the incidents of 9/11. I contacted my affiliate and
made the funds available to the security firm. I undertook all the processes and
made sure I followed his precise instructions to the letter and had the funds
deposited with the security firm. The Security Firm is a specialist private firm
that accepts deposits from high net worth individuals and blue chip corporations
that handle valuable products or undertake transactions that need immediate access
to cash. This small and highly private organization is familiar especially to the
highly placed and well-connected organizations. In line with instructions, the
money was deposited with the security firm.

The deceased told me he wanted the money there in anticipation of his arrival from
Norway later that week. This was the last communication we had, this transpired
around 25th February 2003.In June last year, we got a call from the security firm
informing us that the inactivity of that particular portfolio.This was an
astounding position as far as I was concerned, given the fact that I managed the
private banking sector I was the only one who knew about the deposit at the
security firm, and I could not understand why the deceased had not come forward to
claim his deposit. I made futile efforts to locate the deceased. I immediately
passed the task of locating him to the internal investigations department of SMITH
& WILLIAMSON.Four days later, information started to trickle in,apparently our
client was dead. A person who suited his description was declared dead of a heart
attack in Canne, South of France.

We were soon enough able to identify the body and cause of death was confirmed. The
bank immediately launched an investigation into possible surviving next of kin to
alert about the situation and also to come forward to claim his estate. If you are
familiar with private banking affairs, those who patronize our services usually
prefer anonymity, but also some levels of detachment from conventional processes.
In his bio-data form, he listed no next of kin. In the field of private banking,
opening an account with us means no one will know of its existence, accounts are
rarely held under a name;depositors use numbers and codes to make the accounts
anonymous. This bank also gives the choice to depositors of having their mail sent
to them or held at the bank itself, ensuring that there are no traces of the
account and as I said, rarely do they nominate next of kin. Private banking clients
apart from not nominating next of kin also usually in most cases leave wills in our
care, in this case; the deceased died without a testate. In line with our internal
processes for account holders who have passed away, we instituted our own
investigations in good faith to determine who should have right to claim the
estate. This investigation has for the past months been unfruitful.We have scanned
every continent and used our private investigation affiliate companies to get to
the root of the problem. It is this investigation that resulted in my being
furnished with your details as a possible relative of the deceased. My official
capacity dictates that I am the only party to supervise the investigation and the
only party to receive the results of the investigation. What this means, you being
the last batch of names we have considered, is that our dear late fellow died with
no known or identifiable family member. This leaves me as the only person with the
full picture of what the prevailing situation is in relation to the deposit and the
late beneficiary of the deposit.

According to practice, The Security Firm will by the end of this financial year
broadcast a request for statements of claim to SMITH & WILLIAMSON,failing to
receive viable claims they will most probably revert the deposit back to SMITH &
WILLIAMSON.This will result in the money entering the SMITH &WILLIAMSON accounting
system and the portfolio will be out of my hands and out of the private banking
division. This will not happen if I have my way.What I wish to relate to you will
smack of unethical practice but I want you to understand something. It is only an
outsider to the banking world who finds the internal politics of the banking world
aberrational. The world of private banking especially is fraught with huge rewards
for those who occupy certain offices and oversee certain portfolios. You should
have begun by now to put together the general direction of what I propose.There
is Fifty Million Dollars deposited in a security firm, I alone have the deposit
details and they will release the deposit to no one unless I instruct them
to do so. I alone know of the existence of this deposit for as far as SMITH &
WILLIAMSON is concerned,the transaction with our late customer concluded when I
sent the funds to the security firm, all outstanding interactions in relation to
the file are just customer services and due process. The security Firm has no
single idea of what’s the history or nature of the deposit. They are simply
awaiting instructions to release the deposit to any party that comes forward. This
is the situation. This bank has spent great amounts of money trying to track this
man’s family; they have investigated for months and have found no family.

The investigation has come to an end.

My proposal; you share the same surname With our late client; I am prepared to
place you in a position to instruct The security Firm to release the deposit to you
as the closest surviving relation. Upon receipt of the deposit,I am prepared to
share the money with you in half. That is: I will simply nominate you as the next
of kin and have them release the deposit to you. We share the proceeds 50/50.I
would have gone ahead to ask the funds be released to me, but that would have
drawn a straight line to me and my involvement in claiming the deposit. But on the
other hand, you with the same very name as the original depositor would easily pass
as the beneficiary with right to claim. I assure you that I could have the deposit
released to you within a few days. I will simply inform the bank of the final
closing of the file relating to the deceased I will then officially communicate
with The Security Firm and instruct them to release the deposit to you. With these
two things: all is done.

The alternative would be for us to have The Security Firm direct the funds to
another bank with you as account holder. This way there will be no need for you to
think of receiving the money from The Security Company. We can fine-tune this based
on our interactions.I am aware of the consequences of this proposal. I ask that if
you find no interest in this project that you should discard this mail. I ask that
you do not be vindictive and destructive. If my offer is of no appeal to you,delete
this message and forget I ever contacted you. Do not destroy my career because you
do not approve of my proposal. You may not know this but people like myself who
have made tidy sums out of comparable situations run the whole private banking
sector. I am not a criminal and what I do, I do not find against good conscience,
this may be hard for you to understand, but the dynamics of my industry dictates
that I make this move. Such opportunities only come ones' way once in a lifetime. I
cannot let this chance pass me by, for once I find myself in total control of my
destiny. These chances wont pass me by. I ask that you do not destroy my chance, if
you will not work with me let me know and let me move on with my life but do not
destroy me. I am a family man and this is an opportunity to provide them with new
opportunities. There is a reward for this project and it is a task well worth

I have evaluated the risks and the only risk I have here is from you refusing to
work with me and alerting my bank. I am the only one who knows of this situation,
good fortune has blessed you with a name that has planted you into the center of
relevance in my life.Lets share the blessing.If you find yourself able to work with
me, contact me through this email account If
you give me positive signals, I will initiate this process towards a conclusion. I
wish to inform you that should you contact me via official channels; I will deny
knowing you and about this project. I repeat, I do not want you contacting me
through my official phone lines nor do I want you contacting me through my official
email account. Contact me only through the numbers I will provide for you and also
through this email address. I do not want any direct link between you and me. My
official lines are not secure lines as they are periodically monitored to assess
our level of customer care in line with our Total Quality Management Policy.Please
observe this instruction religiously. Please,again, note I am a family man, I have
a wife and children. I send you this mail not without a measure of fear as to what
the consequences, but I know within me that nothing ventured is nothing gained and
that success and riches never come easy or on a platter of gold.

This is the one truth I have learned from my private banking clients. Do not betray
my confidence.

Kindly send your response to my private email address

I await your response.

---- Msg sent via @Mail -

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