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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: Mr Hillary Attah <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2009 02:54:58 +0000

From: Mr. Hillary Attah
Regional Manager of International
Commercial Bank of Ghana
Tamale Branch.

Dear Friend,

My name is Mr. Hillary Attha.

I am the regional manager of international commercial Bank of Ghana Tamale branch in the Northern region of Ghana. I got your contact when I was searching for an overseas partner to assist me through banker's seminar held recently in Madrid the capital city of Spain.

I have packaged a financial transaction that will benefit you and I, as the regional manager of the International Commercial Bank it is my duty to send in a financial report to my head office in the capital city Accra at the end of each business year. On the course of the last two years 2007 business report, I discovered that my branch in which I am the manager made Three million three hundred and seventy thousand united state dollars ($3,370,000.00) which my head office are not aware of and will never be aware of.

I have placed this funds in what we call ESCROW CALL ACCOUNT with no beneficiary.

As the branch manager of this bank I cannot be directly connected to this money, so my aim of contacting you is to assist me receive this money in your bank account and get 35% of the total funds as commission.

There are practically no risks involved, it will be a bank-to-bank transfer and all I need from you is to stand as the original depositor of these funds who made the deposit with my branch so that my head office International Remittance Department can order the transfer to your designated bank account.

I will be very appreciative if you can return to me with urgent dispatch to enable me advise you on the modalities.

I wait to receive your immediate response.

Best Regards,
Mr. Hillary Attah.

Anti-fraud resources: