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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: "Jona Ezedin" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2011 01:24:02 +0500

Central Bank of Nigeria
Office of the Director
Telex / Wire Department
Tinubu square
Lagos - Nigeria

My name is Mr.Jona Ezedin of telex/wire department of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Lagos.
I am sending this private email based on the confidentiality of the transaction. Please, i would like to advise if after going through my proposal and you do not accept it, kindly keep it to yourself. Right now, am still in service with the bank and i will not by any means like to lose my job.
I have put in over 23 years in this bank but i do not have anything to show for it .This is just my opportunity to make sure that i give my children a decent training since my Govt. which is corrupt has refused to take care of its responsibility. In fact, i am sick and tired of everything here i need to get out. I found out that you almost met all the statutory requirements in respect of your payment. Please be equally advised that no security company in Africa can handle your contract payment/inheritance fund with any bank without the instructions of the central bank of Nigeria.
Your problem is that of interest group in the central bank of Nigeria that is supposed to transfer your fund. A lot of people are interested in your payment and that explains why you receive emails and phone calls from different people all the time. Their whole game plan is to frustrate you in order for you to abandon the contract payment and then, they will be comfortable and free enough to transfer the contract funds into their overseas account or their associates.. Their aim and target is not the money you are giving them but to frustrate you, hence you have lost trust on whom to believe to be genuine. I can assure you that this may last for years, yet nothing happens. To sum it up, i wish to assure you that with my position here in the telex department, i can punch the computer and credit your account straight.
I can accomplish this under five working days, but we have to reach an agreement. First of all, you have to let me know how much you will give me at the consummation of this deal.
Finally, you will have to accept to keep this transaction strictly confidential. If you accept my proposal, kindly get back to me immediately on my email and confirm your particulars on reply.

Mr. Jona Ezedin

Anti-fraud resources: