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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: "Campbell Douglas" <>
Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2008 16:24:23 +0100
Subject: Urgent Response


I have emailed you earlier without a response. In my first email I mentioned
about my late client whose relatives I cannot get in touch with. I am
compelled to do this because I would not want the bank to push my clients
funds into the bank treasury as unclaimed inheritance.

This mail is written and intended to solicit your assistance to be presented
as NEXT OF KIN to my Late Client since you are a foreigner and only a
foreigner can lay claims on this inheritance.
The Governing Body of the Bank has contacted me on this matter and I am yet
to provide the Next of Kin to lay claims to the Fund. Under a clear and
legitimate agreement with you, I shall seek your consent to be presented as
the next of Kin so that my late Clients' Fund will not be Confisticated by
the Bank and pushed into the bank treasury as unclaimed bills.

For the sake of Transparency on this matter, you are free to make immediate
contact for further clarification and explanation on this matter. I will
need you also to reconfirm your full name and contact telephone number to
ascertain the fact that I am dealing with the right person.

Thank you very much for your anticipated acceptance while we expect your
prompt response to this matter as the urgency demands.

Yours faithfully,

Campbell Douglas
Douglas and Jakes Solicitors
United kingdom

Anti-fraud resources: