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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 Jean Paul" <>
Date: Thu, 6 Aug 2009 20:26:30 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Warmest Greeting

Dear Sir/ma,

Warmest greetings to you,I know this letter will definitely comes to you
as a suprise I got your email address through onlines business.I am Jean
Paul the Auditor General in Bank of African Republic Du Benin.During the
course of our auditing I discovered a floating funds in an account opened
in the bank in 1999 and since 2004 nobody has operated on this account

After going through some old files in the records, I discovered that the
owner of the account died without a [heir] So I am soliciting for your
assitance to present you as the next of kin to the decease hence he does
not have some one as his next of kin to inherit the funds.

Therefore if you are interested to work with me, urgently get back to me
so that I will give you more informations and how the funds shall be
successfuly transfer to you by the me diretly to

I look forward to your reply soonest,

Mr Jean Paul

Anti-fraud resources: