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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:

Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2012 12:16:16 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Attention Please,From Mr.Koffi Essen

Mr.Koffi Essen
Accra-Ghana West Africa
OPEC and the petroleum  sector
Attention Please,

I want you to patiently read this offer. I am Mr.Koffi Essen the Head of Delegation to the World Bank in West Africa. I am the linkman between the Organization For Petroleum Exporting Countries - OPEC and the petroleum sector in a West African country. I also attend OPEC meetings constantly in Geneva.
Through the sale of our allocated oil quota in OPEC, I was able to make $22.2million, which is currently deposited in EUROPE as a Security and Finance company. I want you to assist me to claim this money as i cannot claim it directly because I am still a civil servant, and the code of conduct bureau forbids me to acquire such amount of money.

It is on this basis that I am contacting you for assistance, If you will be interested, claim documents will been processed and sent to you. The documents with which the fund is deposited will be changed to reflect you as the new beneficiary so that you will be eligible to collect the fund on my behalf.

I will give you 20% of the fund for this assistance. I am aware of the international monitoring of all large-scale financial movements after the September 11th 2001 terrorist attack on America and to avoid any state of financial investigation I will provide a classified clearance paper from the relevant body which will exonerate the money from either drug, money laundered or terrorist related proceeds.

I want to assure you that there is no risk attached in this transaction. You should also provide me with your private telephone and fax numbers for easier communication.
Expecting your response.
Best regards,
Mr.Koffi Essen

Anti-fraud resources: