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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: "FARRER & Co." (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2011 12:53:59 +0200
Subject: Legal Notice.

Good Day,

Following the gazette by The World Bank Group to all financial institutions with National Savings and Investments to estimate the value of its unclaimed assets in savings with no customer activity for long periods with a view to harness around ?1bn lying dormant in banks accounts all over the world for re-investment, we have been commissioned to seek out legal beneficiaries to unclaimed asset as a means to ensure that genuine claims are not reverted to the government treasury and to maintain public confidence in the safety and security of the financial system during this credit crunch.

I am a Senior Partner with FARRER & Co, a U.K. law firm that arranges asset management and storage of special valuables for reputable clients. We have information concerning of the availability of a bank deposit which has been listed in your name. You are the beneficiary of the deposit box which contains 9.5Million. The lease on the Safe deposit box has expired and no further rental payments or claims have since been made since dormancy.

Financial assets are considered unclaimed when contact with an owner or beneficiary is lost for an extended period and the lease expired without further rental payments or claims. This often happens due to a name change after marriage or divorce, an unreported change of address or expired postal forwarding order, incomplete business transactions, illegible records and result of computer and clerical errors. When owners fail to claim an asset over a specified number of years known as the dormancy period, these funds which are held by financial institutions including but not limited to banks, stock brokers, utilities, employers, life insurance companies and others - transfer custody to a special trust account in a process known as escheat.

We have traced this bank deposit to you as the listed beneficiary and you are advised to contact this office immediately for release proceedings to commence with the courts.

Yours Faithfully,

Yours Faithfully,
David Copping
Associate Solicitor

Anti-fraud resources: