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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: "Engr. Howell Gary" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 3 Mar 2012 17:01:40 -0800
Subject: My Dearest One

My Dearest One
My name is Engr.Howell Gary, a man from Deutschland,I have been working with Shell Oil Company West African Nigeria LIMITED for over 27yrs now, I AM THE CHIEF engineer of the company ; I am a dying man who has decided to donate what I have to church and motherless babies.
I am 61 years old and I was diagnosed for cancer for about 2years ago immediately after the death of my lovely wife, whom I married while working with the above company,she died without given me any child ,my doctors told me that I will not live longer than 3 Month, because of my health, I decided to WILL/Donate the sum of US$4.5 Million Dollars to you for the good work of humanity and also to help the motherless and less privilege and also for the assistance of the widows.
I wish you all the best and may the good Lord and Allah bless you abundantly and please use the funds well and always extend the good work to others.
It is my wish to need the below information from you so i will send to my accountant to let him know that i have will the estate to you:
Your full name
Contact address
Telephone numbers
Your age
Your occupation
I will forward the contact of my private accountant to you who will assist you on my behalf to make the transfer without delay as soon as i hear from you,NOTE: My accountant will assist for the claim of the fund US$4.500 000.00 to you. I know that i don't know you in person but I have been directed to do this by God almighty.
Thanks and God bless
NB: I will appreciate your utmost confidentiality in this matter until the task is accomplished as i don't want anything that will jeopardize my last wish.kindly contact me on ()
Engr. Howell Gary.

Anti-fraud resources: