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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: "Prof:Josef Konan Banni" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2012 16:05:52 -0500

Attention: Beneficiary!
In the course of our General Auditing and Account revision of the first
quarter of the year 2012 ending within few days from now, we
discovered that the Bank accounts belonging to some Benefactors have
been changed on the basis that the owners have died some time last
year or have given out an authorization note of change of data.
After the investigations however, it was revealed that there are
Foreigners who are collaborating with Retired Staffs to make these
changes illegally without the knowledge of the Bonafide Benefactors
and one traced to your own change is this Mr. Walter Gayer, who said
you are dead, hence they have forwarded some documents of funeral
service held for you so as to divert your fund.  They have also
forwarded this bank account below as the new account that will receive
this money.
BANK NAME: Bank Of America
Account name: Mr. Walter Gayer
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 435002925033
BANK ADDRESS: P.O. Box 31900, Tampa, Florida 33631
BANK PHONE NUMBER: 1-800-933-6262
But we wanted to confirm if actually this is true and hence decided to
write to your email address which after 2 days from now and there is
no response, we will then know that you are dead indeed and go on with
the transfer.
If proved otherwise by you that you did not die, please forward to us
all the related Benefactors particulars including your Telephone
number, contact address.These details from you will help to assist us
reach a conclusion that you are not dead.
Anything contrary to this claim will help us charge this man to court
and prosecute him while your fund will be paid to you immediately
without any further delay.
You have to get back to us on time for us to commence legal
proceedings against Mr. Walter Gayer and his accomplices.
Yours Faithfully.
Prof:Josef Konan Banni
Director of Foreign Operation Dpt.
Central Bank of West Africa States.

Anti-fraud resources: