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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: "Mr. Victor Mahama" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2012 03:28:28 -0700
Subject: Dear Brother and sister,

Dear Brother and sister,
I am the Junior store keeper to the late Libyan Leader Colonel Muammar Gahdafi. Following the recent rebellion in the country and the brutal death of my master on the 20 Oct 2011, I have been thrown into a state of utter confusion, frustration and hopelessness; I have been subjected to physical and psychological torture by the security agents in Ghana where i seek refuge at present.
My father was killed by the rebels for an offense he did not commit. As a son that is so traumatized, I have lost confidence with anybody within the country. You must have heard over the media reports and the internet on the recovery of various huge sums of money deposited by my master in different security firms abroad, some companies.
I got your contact email address through my research and out of desperation decided to reach you through this medium.
My master deposited the sum of $75.5 million under a Bank in Ghana and for now no one knew about it except me only and I want to work with you for real because I have the deposit slip with me confirming the funds.
I shall be grateful if you could receive this fund into your account for safe keeping. This arrangement is known to you and me alone. I am seriously considering relocating to your country once the fund is transferred to you.
I will be willing to offer you 30% of the total fund if only you will receive this fund and use it for investment.
Please note that honesty is the watch word in this transaction. I will require your full names and address and telephone so that we can commence communication immediately and I will give you a more detailed.
In case you donít accept please do not let me out to the security as I am giving you this information in total trust and
confidence .
I will greatly appreciate if you accept my proposal in good faith I decided to contact you and I hope you will not betray my confidence.
Thanks Best Regards
Mr. Victor Mahama

Anti-fraud resources: