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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: Paul Martins <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 13 Sep 2008 15:25:39 +0000

"PAUL & PAUL CHAMBERS"LEGAL PRACTITIONERS AND SOLICITORS,LONDON,UNITED KINGDOM:13TH SEPTEMBER, 2008. RE: TO WHOM CONCERNED, This is a request letter from the "PAUL & PAUL CHAMBERS,LONDON" to ascertain your interest and capability in co-operating withme Barrister Paul Martins Esq. and the Bank Director (DR. ARTHUR AIKMAN)to stand/represent as the beneficiary/next of kin to the deposit of adeceased American here in Uk. I write to solicit your utmostconfidence,because you are a Forigner who originally bears the samelast name with the deceased. Late Floyd died in West-London andabandoned a 12Months Calendar Fixed deposit of Fifteen Million GreatBritain Pounds (GBP.£15,000,000.00) without a named or specified next ofkin to inherit the deposit in a case of sudden death. Sequel to hisdeath, I was contacted by the Director of the Holding Bank (Dr. ArthurAikman) based on trust and competence to search for a trustworthy andreliable Partner who has the same Last-name as the deceased. A sincereperson, so we can "empower him and present him to the Bank as theBeneficiary". If acceptable by you, please respond as urgent to thismail and also send to me your direct telephone/ fax numbers for me tonotify the Director so you will discuss fully with him the details tothis claim approach from his Bank. I await your prompt and candidresponse. Yours Sincerely,Barrister Paul Martins Esq."PAUL & PAUL CHAMBERS"PRINCIPAL PARTNER. N/B:REPLY TO DIRECTOR'S P/EMAIL:

Anti-fraud resources: