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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: =?utf-8?q?Paul=20Muosa?= <>
Date: Fri, 20 Jun 2008 23:51:39 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Important message from Citi Financial Bank Plc., pls reply urgently

¡Tengo nueva dirección de correo!Ahora puedes escribirme

- Dear Friend,I am a branch Manager of Citi Financial Bank plc here in the city of Lagos-Nigeria,Actually, I isted your name amongst four other names & prayed over them & decided to contact you directly.I have a very urgent & confidential business proposition for you & forour erall mutual interest. On June 6 1999,an American oil consultant/contractor with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Mr.Williams Wilson made a numbered time(fixed) deposit for twelve calendar months,valued at USD$5,000,000.00(five million dollars) in my branch. Upon maturity, I sent a routine notification to his forwarded address but got no reply. After a month we sent a reminder,& finally we discovered from his contract employers NNPC, that Mr.Williams Wilson passed on as a result of heart attack.On further investigation, I found out that he did not leave a WILL & all attempts to trace his next of kin were fruitless. I therefore made further investigation discovered that Mr.Williams Wilson did not declare any next of kin in all his official documents, including his bank deposit paperwork.This sum USD$5,000,000.00 is still floating in the bank and the interest is being rolled over with the principal sum at the end of each year.No one will come forward to claim it. According to Nigerian Laws, At the expiration of 7 years, the money will revert to the ownership of the Nigerian government if nobody applies to claim the funds.Consequently,my proposal is that I will like you as a foreigner to stand in as a next of kin of Mr.Williams Wilson This is simple 1)I will like you to provide me immediately with your full names & address so that the attorney will prepare the necessary documents & Affidavits,which will put you as next of kin. 2)We shall employ the services of two attorneys for drafting & notarization of the WILL and obtain the necessary documents and letter of probate/administration in your favour for thetransfer. The money will be paid into your account for us to share in the ratio of 60% for me and 40% for you. There is no risk at all as the attorney and my position will do the paperwork for this transaction as the branch manager guarantees the successful execution of this transaction.If you are interested, please reply immediately via this private email address. Upon your response, I shall then provide you with more details and relevant documents that will help you understand.PLEASE OBSERVE UTMOST CONFIDENTIALITY, and be rest assured that this 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 this email: please save me the anxiety of endless waiting. God bless you,Mr. Paul Mousa Citi Financial Bank plc Lagos.

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