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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.

Click here to report a problem with this page.



Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:

Fraud email example:

From: Zaohang Lin <>
Date: Fri, 20 Jun 2008 09:24:08 -0500

Dear Associate,

Thank you for giving me your time. Please be patient and
read my email to you.

I am presently the manager of the Bank of China, Shenzhen
branch. Prior to this position, I was attached to Private
Banking services. I am contacting you concerning an
investment placed under our banks management 4 years ago;
you are contacted independently out of investigation in the
bank. I would like to intimate you with certain facts that I
believe would be of interest to you.

In the year 1998, a certain Mr. Robert Rice came to our bank
to engage in business discussions with our Private Banking
Services Department. He informed us that he had a financial
portfolio of 30 million United States dollars, which he
wished to have us invest on his behalf. I was the officer
assigned to his case; I then proceeded to provide numerous
suggestions and advise in line with my duties as the
de-facto Chief Operations officer of the Private Banking
Services Department, especially given the volume of funds he
wished to put into our bank. We met on numerous occasions
prior to any investments being placed. I encouraged him to
consider various growth funds with prime ratings. The
favored route in my advice to customers is to start by
assessing data on 600 traditional stocks and bond managers
and alternative investments. Based on my advice, we spun the
money around various opportunities and made very attractive
profits margins during our first months of operation; the
accrued profit and interest at this point stood at over 34.5
million United States dollars. He desired low risk and
guaranteed returns on investments, and as such we could not
utilise the full potential of the funds.

On November 6, 2001, he requested disinvestments and
directed that the funds be deposited in a Fixed (Numbered)
Deposit account in my branch for 12 calender months. His
instructions were precisely followed to the latter and all
the funds recalled from the active market and deposited.
Upon maturity, I sent a routine notification to his
forwarding address but got no reply. After a month, we sent
a reminder and finally we discovered from his contract
employers, the Chinese Solid Minerals Corporation that he
died from an automobile accident. On further investigation,
I found out that he died without making a WILL, and all
attempts to trace his next of kin was fruitless.

I therefore made further investigation and discovered that
he did not declare any kin or relations in all his official
documents, including his Bank Deposit paperwork in my Bank.
This money is still sitting in my Bank and the interest is
being rolled over with the principal sum at the end of each
year. No one will ever come forward to claim it. According
to Laws of Republic of China, at the expiration of 6 (six)
years, the money will revert to the ownership of the Chinese
Government if nobody applies to claim the fund. What I wish
to relate to you will smack of unethical practice but I want
you to understand something. It is only an outsider to the
banking world who finds the internal politics of the banking
world aberrational. The world of private banking especially
is fraught with huge rewards for those who occupy certain
offices and oversee certain portfolios. You should have
begun by now to put together the general direction of what I
am proposing.

Consequently, my proposal is that I will like you as a
foreigner to stand in as the next of kin to the man so that
the fruits of this old man's labor will not get into the
hands of some corrupt government officials. This is simple,
I will like you to provide immediately your full names and
address so that the attorney will prepare the necessary
documents and affidavits that will put you in place as the
next of kin.

We shall employ the services of an attorney for drafting and
tarization of the WILL and to obtain the necessary documents
and letter of probate/administration in your favor for the
transfer. A bank account in any part of the world that you
will provide will then facilitate the transfer of this money
to you as the beneficiary/next of kin. The money will be
paid into your account for us to share in the ratio of 50%
for me and 50% for you.

There is no risk at all as all the paperwork for this
transaction will be done by the attorney and my position as
the Branch Manager guarantees the successful execution of
this transaction. If you are interested, please reply
immediately to this email:

I am aware of the consequences of this proposal. I ask that
if you find no interest in this project that you should
discard this mail. I am not doing anything against good
conscience. I know that this may be hard for you to
understand, but the dynamics of my industry dictates that I
make this move. Such opportunities only come once in a
lifetime. I am a family man and this is an opportunity to
provide them with new opportunities. There is a reward for
this project and it is a task worth undertaking. I have
evaluated the risks and the only risk I have here is from
you refusing to work with me and alerting my bank. I am the
only one who knows of this situation, good fortune has
blessed you with a name that has planted you into the center
of relevance in my life. Let's share the blessing.

Do not betray my confidence. If we can be of one accord, we
should plan a meeting, soon. Please observe utmost
confidentiality, and rest assured that this transaction
would be most profitable for both of us because I shall
require your assistance to invest my share in your country.

Awaiting your urgent reply via my email:

Thanks and regards.

Zaohang Lin.

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