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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:

Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2010 13:58:43 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Immediate payment to you via ATM CARD.

                        LONDON SW1W 9SP
United Nation Secretary
Approved and Witnessed by
*Central Bank of Nigeria .
*Senate Majority United States .
*World bank audit committee.
We wish to use this medium to inform you that your CONTRACT/INHERITANCE Payment of USD$3,500,000.00 (Three Million Five Hundred United States Dollars) Which has been owed to you by Nigeria Government have been RELEASED and APPROVED for immediate payment to you via ATM CARD.
NOTE: that we noticed that foreigners have complained about Nigeria banks,and other related offices (Central Bank of Nigeria ). We also discovered some Payments have been diverted to unknown accounts. All these anomalies are what the United Nation delegation has come to correct and release payments to beneficiaries unconditionally.
We have mandated Zenith Bank International Plc, to activate your ATM CARD and credit the total sum to you without delays. As soon as you receive this message, you are advised to Contact the Zenith Bank stating this fund release code number for payment identifications RE-
WDL-US 5678C .You should also state your following information's to him while contacting the bank
1. Full name
2. Phone and Fax number
3. Address were you want them to send the ATM Card to
(P.O Box not acceptable)
4. Your age and current occupation
5. Attach copy of your identification
Finally, United Nation has given instructions to the Zenith Bank to release your Inheritance Fund to you via ATM CARD, so you are therefore advice to contact the CEO Of Zenith Bank International Plc with the following information.
Person: Jim Ovia (CEO of Zenith Bank International Plc)
Office Email Addres:
Send him your direct phone number and contact address
We sincerely apologize on behalf of good people of Nigeria for the plight you have gone through in the past years in receiving your inheritance money. Thanks for adhering to this instruction and once again accept our congratulations.
Best Regards.
Faithfully yours,
Ban Ki-moon
Secretary General,United Nation.
Copyright (c) 2010 United Nation Organization All Rights Reserved.

Anti-fraud resources: