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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: "Desmond Elliot" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2012 17:54:58 -0000
Subject: My greetings to you and your family

My Greetings to you and your family,
Please, excuse me for making this request, as I know Iím a total stranger to you; hence weíve not known or met each other before now. But, I believe we can still get to establish a fruitful relationship from here.This request does not have any thing to do with scam or fraud in any way, it is just a legitimate opportunity, which any person in my position will not afford to miss.
Iím a custom officer, working with the Benin customs and excise. For a very long time now, Iíve been planning to invest overseas and send my family out to base there, while I will be here with my duty work.Recently, a great opportunity just called up in my office for the importers who imported goods into the country to be refunded 50% of the excess duty taxes they paid from 1998 to 2009.While this process was going on, I put up an application that a friend of mine was among the beneficiaries, but have not yet receive the awarded fund as approved by the (customs authority), which amounts $8,000,000.00(eight million united states dollars only).
The controller general just called me today and asked that I should advice my friend to forward an application for the fund to be released without any delays.Please, I know this may be sounding some howl confusing to you, but this is the truth and nothing but the truth and also an opportunity any person in my position and present condition will not afford to miss.What I need from you now is for you to stand as my friend and put up an application, which I will guide you through. As soon as you apply, the fund will be approved and be released to your access, while I will have to travel with my family to meet you for my own share of the fund and possible investments under your care.
You donít have to worry about any thing, because I have a good reputation here and I will use my position in the office here to make sure that all process is perfected and processed without any problem.Upon the conclusion of this transaction and my arrivals to meet with you, you will have to earn the 35% of the total sum, while 65% will be for me.I just need you to indicate your kind and reliable interest to be a good friend, who I can rely upon and will not cheat on me, then leave the processing side of this transaction for me to perfect. Most importantly, please treat this matter/transaction with utmost confidentiality, for security reasons. This transaction is 100% risk free, as I will use my position in my office to make sure every thing works fine and as perfect as required.
I wait for your urgent and positive response; please extend my warmest greetings to your family, as I hope to meet them some day.
Yours sincerely
Capt Capt. Desmond Elliot
Container Verification Dpt
Benin Customs & Excise
Rue de Seme 1054 Akpakpa Cotonou
Republic Of Benin
Please,reply through my private email id below

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