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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: "Barrister Patrick Benson" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2012 15:22:24 -0700
Subject: Hello!!


I am Barrister Patrick Benson from Ghana, I am a legal practitioner, a client of mine died and left behind the sum of Ten Million Five hundred thousand United State Dollars ($10,500,000.00) deposited in a security company, but unfortunately he did not specify his Heir (Next of Kin) before his sudden death.

All my efforts to trace his family members have proved abortive because he did not write a WILL prior to his death.

The Ghana inheritance Law permits any security company to confiscate the deceased's fund, incase the fund is left unclaimed for over a period of 19 months after the death of the owner. However, the security company has contacted me to provide the heir of my late client, so that they will release this consignment box contenting the funds to the person but i am yet to recommend anybody as the Heir. This is the reason why I have contacted you so that I will legally recommend you as the heir.

According to the Ghana Inheritance Law, it is the responsibility of the lawyer to specify the heir of the deceased and I am the personal attorney of the deceased. Therefore, I have the total right to recommend anybody as the heir and the security company will release the consignment box fund to such person.

I have all the legal documentations to complete this transaction successfully without any problems with the government in Ghana and in your country, this transaction is 100% risk free, I will guide and direct you on what to do at any given time and once the consignment is deliver to you I will travel to meet you in your country so that we share the funds in the proportion of 40% for you, 40% for me and 20% will be donated to Charitable Organizations.

This inheritance claims will be legally completed, all I need from you is your total cooperation and honesty.

If you are interested to work with me kindly forward below information:

Your Full Names:
Your Mobile or Cell Phone Numbers:
Your telephone (Office and Home) Numbers:
Your fax Number:
Your occupation:
Your age:
Your nationality:
Your company name and address if any

I look forward to your prompt reply.

Yours truly,

Barrister Patrick Benson
Do reply me with the following email for security reason and clarity of this transaction

Anti-fraud resources: