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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: William Stevenson <>
Date: Sun, 18 Jan 2009 21:38:51 -0800 (PST)

I have a new email address!You can now email me at:

- Goodday to you and your family,i am sorry to disturb you but i felt deeply in my heart that you are that individual that i have been looking for and so i can contact you for a blessing that you are about to receive and also share with people that need it,my name is William Stevenson,a British merchant in Dubai.I have been diagnosed with esophageal cancer, which was discovered very late,due to my laxity in caring for my health.This sickness has defiled all forms of medicine,and right now I have only about a few months to live,according to medical experts.I have since lost my power of speech and can only manage to write now,as that has been the only way I am able to communicate.I have not particularly lived my life so well,as I never really cared for anyone (not even myself)but my business.Though I am very rich,I was never Generous,I was always hostile to people and only focused on my business as that was the only thing I cared for. But now I regret all this as I now know that there is more to life than just wanting to have or make all the money in the world.I believe when i am given a second chance to come to this world I would live my life a different way from how i have lived it.Now that i have been called,I have willed and given most of my property and assets to my immediate and extended family members as well as a few close friends. I want the almighty to be merciful to me and accept my soul,so i have decided to give alms to charity organizations,as I want this to be one of the last good deeds I do on earth.I want to believe that you will be capable of handling this task for me.I will wait to hear from you to know if you are capable of doing this favour for me, You will be bless as you have decided to do this, I will wait for your urgent response at my email address thank you for deciding to actualize this task for humanity sake.Regards,William Stevenson.

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