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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: "Ken Hastrup" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2009 00:49:21 +0100
Subject: Hello!!!!

Dear Friend,
I am Ken Hastrup,A former government official of Liberia. Following the exit of president Charles Taylor of Liberia from power under a West African brokered peace agreement, led by Nigerian President Musa Sheu Yar Adua he was granted asylum by the Nigerian Government. In my position as the Financial Secretary to the President and close confidant, I left for Nigeria in his Encourage. 
My country has been engulfed in Protracted Civil war with rebels controlling some parts of the country. During the war, President Taylor disbursed large sums of Monies to buy the loyalty of the entire cabinet,and I can say with all modesty that I was one of the Chief Beneficiaries of this disbursement.
This is aside from monies I used my official position to acquire while in office.Since we relocated to Calabar, Southern Nigeria all has been well, but with the recent indictment of former President Taylor by the war crime tribunal sitting in Sierra Leone and confirmed reports of a dedicated fund by the American Government to capture him in order to face war crime charges have now decided to leave the country. 
Presently I have funds totaling $15,000,000. (Fifteen Million USDollars) Which I intend to move oversea for investment and spend the rest of my life there with my family.
This transaction is risk-free as all local arrangement has been made. If you are prepared to assist to work with me I require the following: 
Your Full Name:
Postal Address:
Your Private Telephone:
Fax Number :
private Email Address:  
As Compensation for your assistance you will retain 15% of the Total sum, While 5% will be mapped out for local andInternational expenses.
Though we are not known to each other, I strongly believe that through this transaction we would be able to forge a mutually beneficial relationship between us, now and in the future. 
Finally, the success of this transaction will depend to a great extent on mutual trust, secrecy and Confidentiality from you. I await your response to this email: 
Best Regards,
Ken Hastrup

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