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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: Clark Melvin <>
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2007 06:27:44 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Can you honestly help me?


My name is Melvin Clark; I am 22 years of age, the only son of late Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Clark from Nshili District of Gikomgoro Province in Republic of Liberia.
My father before his death was a prosperous Cocoa and Gold merchant in Kigali, Republic of Liberia before his untimely death, after his business trip to Abidjan-Cote d'Ivoire, to negotiate on a Cocoa and Gold business he wanted to invest in Abidjan -Coted'Ivoire.
My mother died when I was little, and since then my father took me so special. Before his death on 12th November 2004 he told me that he has the sum of Twenty Million United State Dollars. (USD$20,000,000.00) deposited in a security company in Ghana, that he wanted to use this fund to invest his cocoa business in Ivory Coast. After the burial of my late father I came down to Ghana and went to the security company where the fund is deposited with all the documents regarding to the deposit of the fund that was given to me by my late father. I am just 22 years old and a university undergraduate and really don't know what to do. Now I want you to help me claim and transfer the fund for investment in your country because I have suffered a lot of set backs as a result of incessant political crisis in my country and Africa.
The death of my father actually brought sorrow to my life. I am in a sincere desire of your humble assistance in this regard. Your suggestions and ideas will be highly regarded.

Now permit me to ask these few questions:
1. Can you honestly help me?
2. Can I completely trust you?
3. What percentage of the total amount in question
will be good for you after the money is in your possession.

Please, get back to me as soon as possible.

Thank you and God bless you.
My sincere regards,

Melvin Clark

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