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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: David Mclean <>
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2009 12:31:59 +0000
Subject: Re: Nominated as Sole kin.

From: David Mclean,Esq.(For Trustees)
Josh Mills& CO.
London UK(David Mclean L.L.P.)

Notification of Bequest On behalf of the Trustees and Executor of the estate of Late Engr. Mark Halligan, I once again try to notify you as my earlier letter was returned undelivered. I hereby attempt to reach you again by this same email address on the WILL . I wish to notify you are the sole beneficiary to his will.

He left the sum of Nine Million One Hundred Thousand Dollars (USD$9,100.000.00 )to you in the codicil and last testament to his will.This may sound strange and unbelievable to you, but it is real and true. Being a widely traveled man, he must have been in contact with you in the past or simply you were nominated to him by one of his numerous friends abroad who wished you good. Until his death was a former managing director and pioneer staff of a giant construction company(JULIUS BERGER).

He was a very dedicated Christian who loved to give out. His great philanthropy earned him numerous awards during his lifetime. He died on the 9th day of February 2004 at the age of 82 years, and his WILL is now ready for execution.According to him this money is to support your Christian activities and to help the poor and the needy. Please If I reach you as I am hopeful, endeavor to get back to me as soon as possible to enable me conclude my job.

You should forward along your current telephone number, including your current mailing address. I hope to hear from you in no distant time.

Yours faithfully,

David Mclean
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Anti-fraud resources: