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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: "Mr. Johnson Adou" <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 20:00:59 -0000
Subject: Pardon me for not having the pleasure of knowing your mind...

Hello Dear,

Pardon me for not having the pleasure of knowing your mind set before making you this offer as it is utterly confidential and genuine by virtue of its nature.

I write to solicit your assistance in a fund transfer deal involving US$ 3.5M. This fund has been stashed out of the excess profit made last year by my branch office of the International Commercial Bank which I am the Manager.

Already I have submitted an approved end of the year report for the year 2010 to my head office here in Accra-Ghana and they did not know of this excess. I now placed this amount on a Non-Investment Account without a beneficiary.

If we will be in agreement and define a good sharing percentage of this money, I wouldn’t mind, I will configure your name on our database as the owner of this Account and then guide you on how to apply to my head office for the Account Closure/ bank-to-bank remittance of the funds to your designated bank account.

Please get back to me as this transaction is intend to be completed within 5 bank working days.

Best regards,
Johnson Adou.

Anti-fraud resources: