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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: Mark Vincent <>
Date: Wed, 16 May 2007 18:45:38 -0700 (PDT)

Dear Friend,

Greetings to you, With warm heart. My name is Mark Vincent, the Director Foreign Exchange Control Department of NATWEST BANK OF LONDON. I offer my friendship, and I hope this mail meets you in good time. I feel quite safe dealing with you in this important business. Though, this medium (Internet) has been greatly abused, I choose to reach you through it because it still remains the fastest medium of communication. However, this correspondence is private, and it should be treated in strict confidence. However, strange or surprising this contact might seem to you as we have not met personally or had any dealings in the past, I humbly ask that you take due consideration of it's importance and the immense benefit it will be to both parties involve.

I discovered a dormant account in my office owned by a deceased who died in a plane crash. As Director Foreign Exchange Control Department of this bank. it will be in my interest to transfer this fund worth £36,759, 000. 00 (Thirty Six Million, Seven Hundred and Fifty Nine Thousand Pounds sterling) in an account offshore.

If you can be a collaborator to this please indicate interest immediately for us to proceed. Remember this is absolutely confidential. As my job and family will be jeopardize if it were bleached and I will also be in trouble. Your contact phone numbers and name will be necessary for this effect. This transaction is totally risk and trouble free as the fund is legitimate and does not originated from any illegal act. I will furnish you with the details as soon as I receive any response from you.

Regards and respect,
Mark Vincent

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