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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: "Princess Helen Keita" <>
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2008 11:25:54 +0000
Subject: From Princess Helen Keita

*From Princess Helen Keita,**
C/O: Refugee camp-Abidjan
Republic Of Cote D'Ivoire


*Dearest One,**
I am delighted to write to you. I am sorry if this mail will come to you as
an embarrassment or a surprise, I just felt like empting myself to you, to
confide in you, as am faced with total frustration and hardship. My Ernest
prayer is that you find this mail in good health and blessings. My name is
Princess Helen Keita, The Daughter of (Late Chief Adam keita) who lost his
life in the course of the crisis here in Cote D'ivoire on the 7th of
November 2005 on his way to his office. My late father was a cocoa merchant,
businessman, a government license contractor and a politician before and
until the time of his death. My father willed in cash, the sum of $8 .2
Million US Dollars which he deposited in a financial institution here in
Abidjan Cote D'ivoire in west Africa, with enabling conditions for the
release of the fund which are as follows:

(1) That I must be 30 years or above.
(2) That upon request for the release of the fund,
There must be evidence of investment intentions especially outside the West
Africa, I contact you therefore to confirm if you can absorb me in
partnership in your company or possibly assist me on any investment
opportunity in your country. When I reach agreement with you, the financial
institution will release my fund to you and I will come over to your country
to commence business partnership with you with the fund and as well complete
my education.

All that I want is your sincere and genuine help in helping me to see that
this fund is released to you and come to your a country were you will also
help me invest this fund in a very good business as soon its released. I
cannot allow the money remain here, why, because of the political/government
conflict that resulted to a civil war here that possess a great risk to my
life and future solely lies on it. If you have heard from the news for the
past few months now there has been intense fighting and bombing by the
troops which I will like to live here as soon as the funds is released out
of this country.

I expect your urgent response including your addresses, your mobile
telephone and fax number. I wait to hear from you, thanks for expected
My regards,
Princess Helen Keita.*

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