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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.

Click here to report a problem with this page.



Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:

Fraud email example:

From: "WANG YAN" <>
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2009 17:02:12 -0600 (CST)

Good day,

I am a, staff of Private Banking Services at the Bank of China
(BOC). I am contacting you concerning our customer and, an
investment placed under our banks management 4 years ago.

I would respectfully request that you keep the contents of this mail
confidential and respect the integrity of the information you come
by as a result of this mail. I contacted you independently of our
investigation and no one is informed of this communication. I would
like to intimate you with certain facts that I believe would be of
interest to you.

In 2003, the subject matter; ref: bb/boc/bank/0012 came to our
bank to engage in business discussions with our Private Banking
Services Department. He informed us that he had a financial
portfolio of 8.35 million United States Dollars, which he wished to
have us turn over (invest) on his behalf.

I was the officer assigned to his case; I made numerous suggestions
in line with my duties as the de-facto chief operations officer of
the Private Banking Services Department, especially given the volume
of funds he wished to put into our bank. We met on numerous
occasions prior to any investments being placed. I encouraged him to
consider various growth funds with prime ratings. The favored route
in my advice to customers is to start by assessing data on 6000
traditional stocks and bond managers and 2000 managers of
alternative investments. Based on my advice, we spun the money
around various opportunities and made attractive margins for our
first months of operation, the accrued profit and interest stood at
this point at over 10 million United States Dollars, this margin was
not the full potential of the fund but he desired low risk
guaranteed returns on investments. In mid 2005, he asked that the
money be liquidated because he needed to make an urgent investment
requiring cash payments in Europe. He directed that I liquidate the
funds and had it deposited with a firm. I informed him that the bank
would have to make special arrangements to have this done and in
order not to circumvent due process, the bank would have to make a
9.5 % deduction from the funds to cater for banking and statutory
charges. He complained about the charges but later came around when
I explained to him the complexities of the task he was asking of us.
Cash movement across borders has become especially strict since the
incidents of 9/11. I contacted my affiliate in and had the funds
available. I undertook all the processes and made sure I followed
his precise instructions to the letter and had the funds deposited
in a security consultancy firm, the firm is a specialist private
firm that accepts deposits from high net worth individuals and blue
chip corporations that handle valuable products or undertake
transactions that need immediate access to cash. This small and
highly private organization is familiar especially to the highly
placed and well-connected organizations. In line with instructions,
the money was deposited . He told me he wanted the money there in
anticipation of his arrival from Norway later that week. This was
the last communication we had, this transpired around 9th October,

In January this year, we got a call from the security firm
informing us that the inactivity of that particular portfolio. This
was an astounding position as far as I was concerned, given the fact
that I managed the private banking sector I was the only one who
knew about the deposit , and I could not understand why he had not
come forward to claim his deposit. I made futile efforts to locate
him I immediately passed the task of locating him to the internal
investigations department of the bank of china. Four days later,
information started to trickle in, apparently he was dead. A person
who suited his description was declared dead of a heart attack in
Canne, South of France. We were soon enough able to identify the
body and cause of death was confirmed. The bank immediately launched
an investigation into possible surviving next of kin to alert about
the situation and also to come forward to claim his estate. If you
are familiar with private banking affairs, those who patronize our
services usually prefer anonymity, but also some levels of
detachment from conventional processes. In his bio-data form, he
listed no next of kin. In the field of private banking, opening an
account with us means no one will know of its existence, accounts
are rarely held under a name; depositors use numbers and codes to
make the accounts anonymous. This bank also gives the choice to
depositors of having their mail sent to them or held at the bank
itself, ensuring that there are no traces of the account and as I
said, rarely do they nominate next of kin. Private banking clients
apart from not nominating next of kin also usually in most cases
leave wills in our care, in this case; he died intestate.

In line with our internal processes for account holders who have
passed away, we instituted our own investigations in good faith to
determine who should have right to claim the estate. This
investigation has for the past months been unfruitful. We have
scanned every continent and used our private investigation affiliate
companies to get to the root of the problem. The investigation did
not ever yield any result My official capacity dictates that I am
the only party to supervise the investigation and the only party to
receive the results of the investigation. This leaves me as the
only person with the full picture of what the prevailing situation
is in relation to the deposit and the late beneficiary of the
deposit. According to practice, the firm will by the end of this
financial year broadcast a request for statements of claim to BOC,
failing to receive viable claims they will most probably revert the
deposit back to BOC. This will result in the money entering the BOC
accounting system and the portfolio will be out of my hands and out
of the Private Banking Services Department. This will not happen if
I have my way.

What I wish to relate to you will smack of unethical practice but I
want you to understand something. It is only an outsider to the
banking world who finds the internal politics of the banking world
aberrational. The world of private banking especially is fraught
with huge rewards for those who occupy certain offices and oversee
certain portfolios. You should have begun by now to put together the
general direction of what I propose. There is US$ 8,370,000.00
deposited , I alone have the deposit details and they will release
the deposit to no one unless I instruct them to do so. I alone know
of the existence of this deposit for as far as BOC is concerned, the
transaction with our deceased customer concluded when I sent the
funds to the firm, all outstanding interactions in relation to the
file are just customer services and due process. They are simply
awaiting instructions to release the deposit to any party that comes
forward. This is the situation. This bank has spent great amounts of
money trying to track this man's family; they have investigated for
months and have found no family. The investigation has come to an

My proposal; I am prepared to place you in a position to give
instruction for the release of the deposit to you as the closest
surviving relation. Upon receipt of the deposit, I am prepared to
share the money with you in half. That is: I will simply nominate
you as the next of kin and have them release the deposit to you. We
share the proceeds 50/50.

I would have gone ahead to ask the funds be released to me, but that
would have drawn a straight line to me and my involvement in
claiming the deposit. I assure you that I could have the deposit
released to you within a few days. I will simply inform the bank of
the final closing of the file relating to the customer I will then
officially communicate with firm and instruct them to release the
deposit to you. With these two things: all is done. The alternative
would be for us to have firm direct the funds to another bank with
you as account holder. This way there will be no need for you to
think of receiving the money from the firm. We can fine-tune this
based on our interactions.

I am aware of the consequences of this proposal. I ask that if you
find no interest in this project that you should discard this mail.
I ask that you do not be vindictive and destructive. If my offer is
of no appeal to you, delete this message and forget I ever contacted
you. Do not destroy my career because you do not approve of my
proposal. You may not know this but people like myself who have made
tidy sums out of comparable situations run the whole private banking
sector. I am not a criminal and what I do, I do not find against
good conscience, this may be hard for you to understand, but the
dynamics of my industry dictates that I make this move. Such
opportunities only come ones' way once in a lifetime. I cannot let
this chance pass me by, for once I find myself in total control of
my destiny. These chances won't pass me by. I ask that you do not
destroy my chance, if you will not work with me let me know and let
me move on with my life but do not destroy me. I am a family man and
this is an opportunity to provide them with new opportunities. There
is a reward for this project and it is a task well worth
undertaking. I have evaluated the risks and the only risk I have
here is from you refusing to work with me and alerting my bank. I am
the only one who knows of this situation, good fortune has blessed
you with a name that has planted you into the center of relevance in
my life. Let's share the blessing.

If you find yourself able to work with me, contact me through this
same email account. If you give me positive signals, I will initiate
this process towards a conclusion. I wish to inform you that should
you contact me via official channels; I will deny knowing you and
about this project. I repeat, I do not want you contacting me
through my official phone lines nor do I want you contacting me
through my official email account. Contact me only through this
email address. I do not want any direct link between you and me. My
official lines are not secure lines as they are periodically
monitored to assess our level of customer care in line with our
Total Quality Management Policy. Please observe this instruction
religiously. Please, again, note I am a family man; I have a wife
and children. I send you this mail not without a measure of fear as
to what the consequences, but I know within me that nothing ventured
is nothing gained and that success and riches never come easy or on
a platter of gold. This is the one truth I have learned from my
private banking clients. Do not betray my confidence. If we can be
of one accord, send me your response to enable us commence this line
of discussion.

I await your response.

Wang Yan.

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