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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 Ben Kofi" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2011 09:09:43 -0700
Subject: Willing To Help?

Dear Friend,

This message can meet in the greatest surprise. However, it is only the urgent need for a foreign partner that made me contact you for this transaction. I'm Ben Kofi Ghana citizens working for the African Development Bank Accra-Ghana Branch. This is a set for your business with a huge amount of money (7.5M U.S. dollars). I want to move funds from my bank, but I am looking for your help and cooperation, Please answer me back. Please keep this very confidential and forward to me in your answer the following. Please contact me about my private e-mail address [] On expectation to hear from you.

1. Full Name
2 Your telephone and fax number
3 Your contact address.

Thanks in advance and God bless you and your family.


Mr Ben Kofi.

Anti-fraud resources: