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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: james okwu <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 16 May 2007 19:05:50 +0100
Subject: Hello Dear

Hello DearI apologize if the contents in this mail are contrary to your moral ethics, which I feel may be of great disturbance to your personal life, but please bearwith me and treat with absolute secrecy and confidentiality. I pray that this email reaches you in the best of health.
I am Mr James Okwu the Director of Operation with Prudent Bank Cotonou, Republic of Benin. One of our customers Mr Ron C. Crawford and his entire family was among the victims of Boe 727-type air plane belongingto African Transport Union (UTA). A Beirut-bound flight 111 persons died and Over 40 others still reported missing, while 22 passengers survived, youmay confirm the event of the air crash through,
Before the unfortunate incident Mr Ron C. Crawford has an account with us valued at Four Million, Six hundred and Fifty Thousand US Dollars ($USD4.650M) According to the Benin Law at the expiration of Four years themoney will revert to the ownership of the Benin government if nobody applies to claim the funds.
Consequently, my proposal is that I will like you as a foreigner to stand in as the next of kin for us to claim this money, so that the fruits of this old man' labour will not get into the hands of some corrupt government officials who will latter use the money to sponsor war in Africa and kill innocent citizens in the search for political power. Please note that therewill be no problem as my bank has made all effort to reach any of our late customers extended Relative but all was fruitless. My position as the Director of Operation in this bank guarantees the successful execution of this transaction. If you are interested and in agreement with me, please write backimmediately.
This money will be shared 50% each once the fund is transferred to any account you will give to my bank.If not interested please destroy the mail because ofthe confidentiality thatis attached to it.
Thanks and God Bless YouBest Regards.Mr James Okwu
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