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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: "Family!" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 22 Dec 2011 17:29:15 +0100
Subject: Re:

If I do not get a living family member of late Deceased urgently, it would be forfeited
and subsequently converted to company's own which will benefit only the directors
of my firm. Please note that since the death of the account owner
(1) No one has operated this account since 1999
(2) He died without an heir; hence it has been floating.
(3) No other person knows about this account and there was no known beneficiary.
This can be approved to you legally as with all the necessary documentary approvals in your name.
However, you would be required to show some proof of claim which I will provide you with and also
guide you on how to make your applications. Please do give me a reply so that I can send you detailed
information on the modalities of my proposition. I completely trust you to keep this Proposition absolutely
confidential. Kindly forward your telephone and fax numbers where I can reach you easily.I look forward
to your prompt response. Please you can reach on my private email
Mr. Thomas George.

Anti-fraud resources: