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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: "FROM BARRISTER AHMED GAMBO." <> (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2008 20:54:16 +0000

Dear Friend,
I am Barrister Ahmed Gambo, attorney to Mr Patrick Ramirez, an expartriate engineer who was resident here in Dakar Senegal.
On the 2nd of January, 2005 I recieved a call that my client died in the Tsunami Disaster with his wife and child while on vacation at Phuket Island in Thailand.
I have contacted you to assist me in repatriating the funds left behind by my client.
These funds amounting to US$2,700,000.00 (Two Million, Seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollars only) has been in the treasury of a commercial bank as Unclaimed Dividend since June, 2006.
Fortunately though the bank, now under a new management has declared its intention to abide by the directives of the National Securities and Exchange Commission which has mandated all financial institutions to pay out all Unclaimed Dividends in their records within this first quarter of the fiscal year 2008.
Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the biological relatives of my late client, I hereby seek your consent to present you to the bank as his next-of-kin since you are a foreign national so that the unclaimed dividend can be transfered to you as inheritance and thereafter, you and I will share the funds; 70% for me and 30% for you.
I require your consent, honest co-operation and assistance to enable us see the deal through.
Finally, I guarantee that the transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. Please contact me via email to enable us discuss further.
Thank you.
Ahmed Gambo.
Attorney At Law

Anti-fraud resources: