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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: "Alessandro Carlo Geronimo" <>
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 2008 14:47:16 +0100
Subject: Mutual Benefit

June 12, 2008

Ciao Sir/Madam,

I take great pleasure in introducing myself, Mr. Alessandro Carlo Geronimo
an accountant with Banca Di Roma, Milano, Italy. This letter is in reference
to the death of our foreign Client, who died in the Cypriot airliner that
crashed Aug. 14, 2005 near Athens with his family on board (All passengers
were killed in the crash) and this letter is not intended to cause any
embarrassment in whatever form, rather it is intended to contact your
esteemed self, following the knowledge of your high repute and
trustworthiness. More information on the crash can be found in the below

Our client until his death deposited a sum of ¤15,800,000 Million Euro
(Fifteen Million, Eight Hundred Thousand Euros) with us. Since we got
information about his death, we have been expecting his next of kin to come
to our Bank and claim his money because we cannot release it unless somebody
applies for it as a next of kin or relative to the deceased as indicated in
our banking guidelines, but unfortunately we learnt that all his supposed
relatives died in the plane crash leaving no relative behind to claim the
fund. It is upon this discovery that l decided to make this business
proposal to you in other of the release of the money to you as the next of
kin or relative to the deceased for safety and subsequent disbursement,
since nobody is coming for it and we do not want this money to go into our
bank treasury as an unclaimed fund.

The Banking Law and Guidelines here stipulate that if such money remained
unclaimed after three years, the money will be transferred into the Bank
Treasury as Unclaimed Funds. The request for a foreigner as a relative for
this claim is occasioned by the fact that the customer was a foreigner and
an Italian cannot claim this fund as next of kin. As an agreement 30% of
this money will go to the foreign partner who will supply the foreign
account, 5% will be set aside for expenses incurred during the transaction
and 65% will be for me and my colleagues. Thereafter, l and my colleagues
will visit your country for disbursement of the percentages as indicated
above. If you are interested to assist in this transaction, kindly contact
me immediately to proceed further. There is no risk involve at all, for I
know that a proposal of this magnitude will make anyone apprehensive and
worried, but I am assuring you that it is made in good faith and will be of
mutual benefit. I have everything arranged and planned, just please adhere
to all instructions.

As a Senior Staff in the Bank I have access to reach information regarding
Bank's Clients and Account Monitoring, I keep this information secret within
myself and partners to enable the whole plans and idea be profitable and
successful during the time of execution. I trust in you to keep this secret
and confidential too. I will prepare a formal agreement to guide us in this
transaction for accountability purpose. All other necessary vital
information will be sent to you when I hear from you. I suggest you get back
to me as soon as possible stating your wish in this deal. I look forward to
your prompt response.

Yours Faithfully,

Alessandro Carlo Geronimo

***************Confidentiality Notice***************
This message is intended for the sole use of the individual and entity to
whom it is addressed, and may contain information that is privileged,
confidential and exempt from disclosure under applicable law. Any
unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution of this email message,
including any attachment, is prohibited. If you are not the intended
recipient, please advise the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of
the original message. Thank you.

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