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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: John Tugwell <>
Date: Mon, 2 May 2011 13:22:31 +0100 (BST)
Subject: From Dr. John Tugwell

From Dr. John Tugwell

I am Dr John Tugwell from Harlsden, North West London, here in England. I work with UBS Investment Bank. I am writing you from my office that will be of an immense benefit to both of us. In my department, being the head of distressed debt research, I discovered an abandoned sum of (Fifteen Million four hundred thousand Great British Pounds) in an account that belongs to Mr, Stephen Richard, a polish Business man who died in river thames along with his families in a boat mishap while on a picnic with his family.

The choice of contacting you is aroused from the geographical nature of where you live, particularly due to the sensitivity of the transaction, and the confidentiality herein. Now our bank has been waiting for any of the relatives to come-up for the claim but nobody has done that. I personally have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives since I resumed office, I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin /Will Beneficiary to the deceased so that the proceeds of this account valued at (Fifteen Million four hundred thousand Great British Pounds) can be paid to you.     This will be disbursed or shared in these percentages, 60% to me and 40% to you. I have secured all necessary legal documents that can be used to back up this claim we are making. All I need is to fill in your names to the documents and legalize it in the court here to prove you as the legitimate beneficiary. All I require now is your honest Co-operation, Confidentiality
and Trust to enable us see this transaction through. I guarantee you that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. 
   Please provide me the following: as we have a few days to run it through. This is very URGENT PLEASE. 1. Full Name 2. Your Mobile phone Number3. Your Residential address 4. Your Age:
 This information will enable me to upload your data into our bank database to reflect in the bank network system that you are the named next of kin/will beneficiary of this fund, and I will guide you on how to open communication with the bank and make the claims for onward transfer of the funds to your bank account in your country, please note that we have few days to carry out this deal, Your kind and rapid response  will be highly appreciated.  
Regards, Dr.John Tugwell.Private Number: +447024065674Private

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