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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: "Barr. Smith Silver" <>
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2011 01:10:08 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Dear Friend,

šDear Friend,

My name is Barrister Smith Silver. I am a Legal representative, an Attorney
and private account manager to my late client,š Year 2008, my client
by name Mr. Marshal..........š Passed away, leaving behind a cash
inheritance of Ten million United States Dollars ($10, 000, 000, 00). My
late client and bosom friend grew up in a "Motherless Babies Home". He had
no family, no beneficiary nor next of kin to the inheritance amount left
behind at his Bank.
The Financial law of inheritance clearly allows for the deceased Bank to use
deceased money as deemed fit, should the inheritance money be left unclaimed
for a period of thirty six months after the death of the account owner.
The reason that you have been contacted now is because the bank asked me to bring somebody for his unclaimed wealth which he left behind
šand I can present you as the beneficiary next
of kin to the bank. The Inheritance Law clearly leaves the on us of proof of who is or
not the kinship, to the deceased Lawyer to prove. As the deceased Lawyer,
the Law says l have the final say of who is the beneficiary of the deceased
šAs a lawyer I know this.
šproposition and you are ready to keep this proposition in absolute
confidentiality and trust, then contact me at once, and we can work out the
details, and the issue of your compensation.
Reply to my private e-mail:

20 Rue De Italie Lome, Centrale,
Lome - Togo

Anti-fraud resources: