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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: "Bill Ponchot" <>
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2013 10:23:27 -0400
Subject: Trust and Confidential

Guaranty Trust Bank,
(UK) Limited,
60-62 Margaret Street,
London W1W 8TF.
>From the desk of: Mr. Fernando Estrada


I am Mr. Fernando Estrada and i work with Guaranty Trust Bank (UK) Limited. There Is an account opened in my bank in 2003 and since 2007 nobody has operated on this account again, after going through some old file in the records I discovered that if I do not remit this money out urgently it would be forfeited for nothing. The owner of this account is Mr. Pat Groves, a foreigner and a miner at Mount Resources Ltd. a geologist by profession.
He died since 2007, and no other person knows about this account or anything concerning it. The account has no other beneficiary. My investigation proved that his company does not know anything about his account and the amount involved is Thirty Six Million United States Dollars.

The bank will welcome any foreigner that has correct information about the account, which I will give to you. Therefore, i can present you as the next of kin and if we have common understanding and mutual co-operation we will work out the modalities for the claiming of the funds in
accordance with the law and order.I need your full co-operation to make this work out. If you are
capable of handling such an amount in strict confidence with trust we will achieve this goal
immediately,I will also use my position to influence approvals and immediate onward transfer
of this money to your account for sharing and further investments.

Send your full names, address and contact telephone # TO THIS EMAIL:

I look forward to your earliest reply.

Best Regards,
Mr. Fernando Estrada
+44 7045787105

Anti-fraud resources: