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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:

Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2008 11:43:08 +0000
Subject: Urgent Reply

Dear Sir,

Do not be surprise to receive the message. I do hope all is well with you
and your family? Nonetheless, I write to let you know that I have been
assigned as a Branch Manager of my Bank here in the Accra District, as such
I have a new arrangement which will aid us accomplish a financial
transaction, which I have used my position as the branch manager to package
for our mutual benefit.

Nonetheless, I would like you to confirm your direct telephone number, so as
to enable me call you and update you on how best we can accomplish this
transaction without further delay.

Do get back to me ASAP you get hold of this email in confirmation of your
direct mobile telephone number. Do reply me to this:

Best regards and my sincere regards to your beloved family.

Sincerely yours,

Aziz Benson

Anti-fraud resources: