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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: Sarah Smith <>
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2010 18:23:10 +0000
Subject: Dearest Friend,

Dearest Friend,

I am writing you from the tears, sore and pains in my heart to let you know the reason why I picked you for my proposal. I am sincerely sorry if I disturb your privacy with my proposal; firstly I will start by introducing myself. My name is Sarah Smith; I'm 25 years old, I school and work as a cloth maker after my studies, I live in London England. I am the only daughter of my parents, my father died in an auto accident on his way to see my sick mother where she was admitted for breast cancer treatments. My mother gave up when she heard about the death of my father in same hospital where she was admitted, May their soul rest in perfect peace, amen. Before the death of my father he willed his Real Estate & Gas station business to me and a sum of £50,700,000.00(Fifty Million, Seven Hundred Thousand Pounds Sterling). After the death of my parents I find it difficult paying my school fees, feeding and taking care of myself as a lady as no one is left to guild me.

I went to the bank where my late father deposited the fund for me to make some withdraw out from the account, I was not grant access to draw from the account due to the clause that was placed on the money by my late father before his death, saying I must be 30 years of age before I will have access to claim the fund by myself or if I am married before the age of 30 my husband will be eligible to collect the money for me or if I could present a trust worthy person to the bank as my relative the fund will be given to the person on my behalf. But today I am only 25 years old I have no access to draw from the account till I am 30 but as things are with me now, I might also lose my life since I can't feed well which is the reason why I am contacting you to help me, Please I am pleading with you to stand in as my husband to claim this fund or if you are married already and still wish to help me by standing as a relative to claim this fund for me I will be more than happy to tell you more on how we are to proceed. I will offer you 40% of £50,700, 000.00(Fifty Million, Seven Hundred Thousand Pounds Sterling) we are claiming while 10% will be use for expenses to obtain documents that would enable you claim this fund for me without any problem.

I will be waiting to hear from you,

With Love

Sarah Smith

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