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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: "Commercial Bank" <>
Date: Sat, 21 Jun 2008 12:12:53 -0000
Subject: =?koi8-r?B?RlJPTSBEUi4gUEFUUklDSyBPQkk=?=


Dear Friend.

It is indeed my pleasure to write you this letter, which I believe will be a
surprise to you as we have never met before, and I am deeply sorry if I have
in any manner disturbed your privacy. Please forgive this unusual manner of
contacting you, but this particular letter is of exceptional and very
private nature. There is absolutely going to be a great doubt and distrust
in your heart in respect of this email, coupled with the fact that, so many
individuals have taken possession of the Internet to facilitate their
nefarious deeds, thereby making it extremely difficult for genuine and
legitimate business class persons to get attention and recognition.

My name is Dr. Patrick Obi, i am Manager of of a commercial bank. I
contacted you on a business Transfer that requires confidentiality, Trust
and transparency,where both of us have a lot to Benefit. During our auditing
Accounts section, I discovered a huge sum of money US$20.5M deposited by our
late customer, a foreigner who died On the 21st of April 2000, Engr. Harold
Bowen, his wife and their two Children were involved in a car accident in a
remote village called Kuru near Jos in Plateau State. All occupants of the
car Unfortunately lost their lives. Since then I have made several enquiries
to his embassy here in Lagos-Nigeria to locate any of Harold Bowen Extended
relatives, this has also proved unsuccessful to locate any member of his

Now the management of the bank has issued a notice to provide the next of
kin to claim the funds or they have the account frozen. Since I have been
unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over 6 years now, I contacted you
to seek your consent to present you as the next of kin to the deceased since
you are a foreigner so that the proceeds of this account valued at US$20.5M,
can be transfer to your account that you would provided, then we can share
the money 50%/ for me and 50% for you because is a deal between me and you!

Finally, I have made an arrangement with an attorney who will work on your
behalf and secure all the necessary legal documentation that would indicate
you as the Beneficiary of the fund to back up this claim, and this I must do
to make sure that this fund is not wasted or end up in the wrong hands. All
I require is your honest co-operation to enable us sees this deal through
and secures all the legal documents. I guarantee you that this transaction
will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you and I
from any breach of the law.

If you are interested in this deal, kindly get back to me with your complete
information, as follow.

Your Private telephone and Fax numbers, and Cell phone; Your full Name and

Best regards,

Dr. Patrick Obi.

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