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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: "li chin wu" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2011 03:10:28 -0000
Subject: Awaiting you response

Gracious Greetings

I am Li Chin Wu, Principal Assurance manager for the Huaxia Bank . I am getting
in touch with you regarding the estate of a deceased client with similar last
name and an investment placed under our banks management about 8 years ago.

I would respectfully request that you keep the contents of this mail
confidential and respect the integrity of the information you come by as a
result of this mail. I contact you independently and no one is informed of this

In 2000, the subject matter; an American investor came to our bank to engage in
business discussions with our private banking division. He informed us that he
had a financial portfolio of 8.35 million United States dollars, which he wished
to have us invest on his behalf.

Based on my advice, we spun the money around various opportunities and made
attractive margins for our first months of operation, the accrued profit and
interest stood at this point at over 10 million United States Dollars. In mid
2002, he instructed that the principal sum (8.35M) be liquidated because he
needed to make an urgent investment requiring cash payments in Hong Kong . We
got in touch with a specialist bank in Hong Kong the Guangdong Development
Bank(GDB) who agreed to receive this money for a fee and make cash available to
the investor. However Guangdong Development Bank got in touch with us last year
that this money has not been claimed. On further enquiries we found out that the
investor was involved in an accident in Mainland China , which means he died
intestate. He has no next of kin and the reason I am writing you is because you
are namesakes.

What I propose is that since I have exclusive access to his file, you will be
made the beneficiary of these funds. My bank will contact you informing you that
money has been willed to you. On verification, which will be the details I make
available to my bank, my bank will instruct GDB to make payments to you. You do
not have to have known him. I know this might be a bit heavy for you but please
trust me on this. For all your troubles I propose that we split the money in
half. In the banking circle this happens every time. The other option is that
the money will revert back to the state.

Nobody is getting hurt; this is a lifetime opportunity for us. I hold the KEY to
these funds, and as a Chinese National we see so much cash and funds being
re-assigned daily. I would want us to keep communication for now strictly
immediately via the above email.

Please, again, note I am a family man; I have a wife and children. I send you
this mail not without a measure of fear as to the consequences, but I know
within me that nothing ventured is nothing gained and that success and riches
never come easy or on a platter of gold. This is the one truth I have learned
from my private banking clients. Do not betray my confidence. If we can be of
one accord, we should act swiftly on this. Please pardon my writing mistakes.
Please get back to me immediately immediately via the email

I await your response.

Li Chin Wu

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