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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: Tarfa Williams <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 17 Nov 2007 19:23:12 -0800
Subject: My Reason for contacting you...Reply!

Our greetings to you, I am Tarfa Williams from Seirra Leone and residing presently in Europe with my Mother (A Widow). We are staying at a REFUGEE CAMP waiting for an answer to our application for political Assylum, due to the CIVIL WAR in my country in which I lost my father Alhaji Hammed Williams and my sister, the WILL have been ready prompted me to contact you.
I need a trustworthy and honest individual who would be ready to help my family invest our fund wisely and profitably, our inheritance is value at $100,000,000.00 ( ONE HUNDRED MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS) from my late father. This fund has been secured with a PRIVATE SECURITY COMPANY in Europe. To claim this fund from this security firm I have the necessary documents including the certificate of deposit and the original copies of bank statement from my late father's lawyer. In the desire to invest this fund we will appreciate a stable company with growth potentials.

We wish to invest this fund in your company or any other company or profit oriented venture under your advise and supervision.You are the hope of this family as there is nothing we can do, due to our status here. You will of course be adequately compensated you with 30% for your effort, which we will discuss as soon as you accept to help us in this regard. I will be willing to answer any question about my family as soon as we receive an acceptance mail from you.
You should also send your company's flyers or profile including some hint about investment in your country. Hoping to hear from you soon while thanking you in anticipation.

Best regards,Prince Tarfa Williams. Please reply to for safety of this transaction. Thanks.

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Anti-fraud resources: