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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. Martin McCourt" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2012 16:23:07 -0800

Dear Friend,

I am seeking for your co-operation to present you to our financial institution as the Beneficiary to Late Mr. Phillip Carter's fund,he is a UK Entrepreneur who died in a aircraft with his son. please view the link for confirmation

Before his death, he was a Founder of training firm Carter & Carter. The company is now worth more than GBP500m Held shares worth GBP100m in Carter & Carter and has a bank balance with our financial institution to the tune of (Twenty Three Million, Five Hundred Thousand British Pounds sterling) which will be paid to you if you act as the Beneficiary. For your information, I am his account officer in our financial institution.

However, no outsider knows that he deposited the above fund in our financial institution. I am contacting you to ask for your co-operation to stand as the beneficiary of the fund to secure this deposit and invest it with you.

If nobody comes forward to claim the fund, it will be forfeited to the Government, based on that, I am contacting you to assist me in making this transaction a reality. I only have to arrange the proof documents and the fund will be paid to you as the beneficiary. We are to share this money between ourselves and also donate 10% to charity and the Haiti earthquake victims if you agree and if you are interested in this offer, please contact me immediately so we can proceed.

Note that this transaction is 100% risk free as I have mapped out all the modalities to follow and conclude it securely.

For details of this transaction and procedures, please do forward me your Full Name, Age, Marital Status and Address, Phone/Mobile Number, Your Company Name or Occupation, through my private email: Fax: +44-8719182603
The above information will enable me to secure all the legal documents in your favour.

I await your urgent response to enable us start this project and nurture it to reality.

Yours faithfully,

Mr. Martin McCourt
Marylebone, London
Tele/Fax: +44-8719182603

Anti-fraud resources: