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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: "Nicoll Christopher John" <>
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2010 06:40:29 +0700 (WIT)
Subject: ENQUIRY

Good Day To You,

I am Nicoll Christopher John, Staff of Ulster Bank (London). I am getting
in touch with you regarding the estate of a deceased client with last name
similar to yours and an investment he placed under our banks management 4
years ago, I believe would be of interest to you.In 2006, the subject
matter; came to our bank to engage in business discussions with our
private banking division. He informed us that he had a financial portfolio
of fifty million united states dollars ($50,000,000,00).

My proposal; you share the same surname With our late client and i want you
to stand as the bona-fide next of kin to the desease. If you are able to
assist me we shall share the proceeds 50% for me, 50% for you

I will send more details immediately i get a positive response from you.


Nicoll Christopher John

Anti-fraud resources: