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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: "Mrs Maria Smith" <>
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2009 17:34:16 -0500
Subject: My Dear Beloved

My Dear Beloved

It is with tears and pains that I am writing this email from my sick bed
in a hospital here in Benin Republic. I believe you have never met such a
condition before. My name is Mrs Maria Smith,widow to late Engineer Pat
Smith, former owner of PETROLEUM AND GAS company, here in Benin Republic.
At the present, I am suffering from a long time cancer of the breast. And
from all indications, my condition is really deteriorating and it's quite
obvious that I won't live more than 2 months according to my doctors. This
is because the cancer stage has gotten to a very bad stage, but I don't
want you to pity me, but I only need your trust.

My late husband died in December 2003 in a plane crash in Benin, (please
and during the period of our marriage we couldn't produce any child. My
late husband was very wealthy and after his death, I inherited all his
business and wealth. Due to my illness, the doctor have advised me that I
will not live for more than 2 months, due to the damages that the illness
has coursed on my body, so I have now decided to spread all my wealth, I
inherited from my late husband, in order to contribute mainly to the
development of charity in Africa, America, Asia and Europe. I am sorry if
you are embarrassed by my mail.

I found your e-mail address as a real Child of God for over a month now,
during my search for a trust worthy Christian. And since then, I have been
investigating about you to know if really you are working according to the
direction of God. So, after all my investigation, I was convince, and I
have decided to contact you, but if for any reason you find this mail
offensive, you can ignore it and please accept my apology. But if it
touches you in your heart to help the homeless and the needy, please
respond as soon as possible. Before my late husband died, he was a major
oil tycoon, in Benin and deposited the sum of US$8,000,000.00 (Eight
Million U.S Dollars only)in a security company here in Benin Republic,
some years ago and right now that is all I have left, after my late
husband's business associates, took everything that belongs to my dear
husband. I need your help to collect this fund and distribute it yourself
to charity homes, so that when I finally die, my soul will rest in peace.
The funds will be entirely in your hands and care, as you utilize it very
well. I hope God gives you the wisdom to touch very many lives that is in
need, because that is my main concern.

Please note that 40% of this fund will be for you completely, for your
time and effort, while 60% goes to charity.

If you are willing to do this, please reply back to me

God bless you.

Mrs Maria Smith.
Christ Alive General
Benin Republic

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