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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: "Mr. Paul Williams" <>
Date: Sat, 21 Jun 2008 13:14:39 +0400

From the desk of Mr. Paul Williams
Deutsche Bank AG.
Address: 1 Great Winchester Street
Ec2n 2db London, Great Britain

Let me start by introducing myself. I am Mr. Paul Williams Chief Executive =
Officer of the Deutsche Bank AG. Before the U.S and Iraqi war, our client a =
business man made a numbered fixed deposit of =A325,000,000 only in my =
branch. Upon maturity several notices was sent to him, even during the war, =
Four years ago (2003). After further investigation it was also discovered =
that Hamada Hashem did not declare any next of kin in his official papers =
including the paper work of his bank deposit.

And he also confided in me the last time he was at my office that no one =
except me knew of his deposit in my bank.Twenty five million pounds sterling =
is still lying in my bank and no one will ever come forward to claim it. =
Against this backdrop, my suggestion to you is that I will like you =
foreigner to stand as the next of kin to Hamadi Hashem so that you will be =
able to receive his funds for our mutual benefit. We will share the fund at =
the ration of 60% for me while 30% for you, and then we will set aside 10% =
for any expenses we incur during and after the transfer.

Your earliest response to this letter will be appreciated.

Kind Regards
Mr. Paul Williams

Anti-fraud resources: