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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: Wilson Ford <>
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2010 11:43:44 +0000 (GMT)

Mario Carlos& Associates
Abrogates José Ortega y Gusset
37- 1°- B 28006 Santa Crruz
Compliment of the day,
I am Wilson Ford, On the 11th of march 2004 my client ,his wife and their two children were killed by bomb blast through a terrorist attack in Madrid train station, all the occupants of the coach died.
My client deposited the sum of 14.3 million Euros in a  Bank here in Spain, for himself, with the hope of transferring it to his country and to establish a company in his country when he finally left Spain.
Since his death, I have made several inquiries through his Embassy to locate any of my clients extended relatives, this has also proved unsuccessful. After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to look for a reliable foreigner i will present as his next of kin.I have contacted you to assist in repatriating the money left behind by my client before they get confiscated or declared unserviceable by the bank where these huge deposits were lodged.
Most importantly, the bank has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or have the money confiscated within the next thirty official working days,since I have been unsuccessfully in locating his relatives.I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin  so that the money deposited in the account valued at 14.3 million Euro will be claimed by you and then you and I can share the money, because leaving it there would mean that the Bank would take over the fund.
All I require is your honest cooperation to enable us see this deal through. I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. However please bear in mind that time is of great importance.
Best regards,
Wilson Ford.

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