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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:

Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 16 May 2007 17:24:14 +0100
Subject: Dear Director/ceo,

Dear Director/ceo,

My name is Mr. Lowell Edward the manager, credit and foreign bills department of Citibank London. I am writing in respect of a foreign customer who used to works with a multinational company, he made huge deposit with our bank before he died in the 9/11 terrorist attack in USA. Since the demise of this our customer, I personally has watched with keen interest to see the next of kin but all has proved abortive as no one has come to claim his funds of Nine Million Five Hundred Thousand Pounds Sterling (£9,500,000) which has been with my branch for a very long time. On this note, I decided to seek for whom his name shall be used as the next of kin as no one has come up to be the next of kin. However, the banking ethics here does not allow such money to stay in view of this, I got your contact during my search through Internet after realizing that your name can be used as related to the deceased and a national of your country. I will discuss with you what will be our compensation of total sum.
Upon the receipt of your response, I will send you by e-mail the application and the next step to take. I will not fail to bring to your notice that this business is hitch free and that you should not entertain any fear as all modalities for fund transfer can be finalized within five banking days, after you apply to the bank as relation to the deceased. When you receive this mail, kindly reply through my e-mail address: All these information bellow is needed from you to enable me file an application on your name as the next of kin to the deceased then you apply for the two inheritance documents from the law court here in UK, as soon as I have all the legal documents that is needed from my Bank, then we proceed for fund transfer. The bellow information is needed from you.
Your full names................. Home Address....................... Direct tell number................. Fax number................ Your age............... Your occupation........... Your Private Email Account...........
Regards, Lowell Edward
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