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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: "GREGORY SMITH" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 5 Apr 2013 05:28:32 -0700
Subject: MONEY TO INVEST[AntiVir checked]

Dear Friend,
First, I must apologize in advance if the contents of this email do not meet with your
approval; I humbly crave your indulgence.
My name is GregorySmith, I am a South African,  an accountant by profession. I work
with one of the lottery companies in England, United Kingdom.
In my capacity as an accountant in my company am involved in the preparation and
approval of prizes ledgers to our lottery winners. I have been working with my company
for more than 10 years, highly experienced and acquainted with all the financial issues
about winnings, out payments and unclaimed winnings.
I am contacting you because we have loads of unclaimed lottery winnings in my company which I
would like to take as an opportunity to better my life, by repatriating some of the
unclaimed winning funds for  myself, as I know that these funds will be cleared and
distributed to several sectors, including health, education and charitable causes at the
expiry date of claims, if the winner do not come forward to claim their prizes. I cannot
make claim to these unclaimed lottery winnings in my name because I work with these
lottery organisation is the reason that am contacting you to seek your consent to present
you as one of the Lucky winner, so that the proceeds of a winner can be paid to you as the
winner based on the information am going to pass on to you if we come to an agreement.
My proposal to you is simple and the reality of it can be read and verified on the yahoo news link below:
If you have a good business plan, we can re-profile the claimed lottery winning funds on it
or share the funds in the following ratio: 50% for me, 50% for you out rightly.
I will assure you that all modalities for the successful conclusion of this transaction have
been put in place and it is 100% risk free.  I shall ensure that all relevant information and
legal documents that may be needed to actualize this transaction will be provided. All I
require from you is your honest cooperation and keep the transaction top confidential, to
enable us succeed. I guarantee you that this will be executed under legitimate
arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. I would also need you bear
with me for not using my company's letter heading to contact you as it's a proposed
personal and confidential project between myself  and  you.
Please note that I am not just looking for anybody to do this with, but a reliable and
trustworthy person, based on the huge amount of money involved in this project.
If you wish to work with me, write back soon and if we can work together, I will give you a
detailed explanation on the project and how easy it's going to be for us to claim the
winning and how to begin, be rest assured that at no point in the course of this transaction would
you be asked to use your money for any payment, I am in a good financial position to cover all cost.
Please reply me by email for now to give me your consent
, and then I can provide my personal telephone number to establish communication with you.
I expect your swift response.
Gregory Smith.

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