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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: "Richard Lee" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2012 06:10:00 +0800
Subject: Good-day

Good Day,
I am Richard Lee of (Shanghai Commercial Bank Ltd,Hong Kong)i have legal business deal that will profit you 35% of USD$30.5M. Before the U.S and Iraqi war our client Mr. ASHRAF TAYSIR SHAKER ALQAWASMI a business merchant made a fixed deposit of USD$27.3M for 2Yrs where i was the only one that knew about his deposits. Upon maturity during the war in 2003, Mr. ASHRAF TAYSIR SHAKER ALQAWASMI , his wife and only daughter died in a bomb blast that hits His Residence. Investigations showed that he didn't declare any next of kin. Upon Maturity, attracting margins in profit and dividends of over USD$30.5M As a foreigner,I want you to stand as the next of kin to claim the fund because according to the laws of my country at the expiration 8years the funds will revert to the ownership of the Hong Kong Government if nobody applies to claim the funds. I have an attorney that will prepare all the documents to back you up as the next of kin to Mr. ASHRAF TAYSIR SHAKER ALQAWASMI . Please reach me only on my personal email
Richard Lee

Anti-fraud resources: