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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: "Funds Reconciliations(AU)" <>
Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2014 14:52:40 -0700
Subject: Your Beneficary Funds Release


Access Bank Ghana limited in conjunction with West African States has
formed a reconciliation committee for the release of pending
inheritance/contract transaction funds to foreign beneficiaries who
has lost colossal amount to corrupt government officials in which you
a beneficiary and as a result of the promise sworn to your government
that before the end of the first quarter of 2014 part payments will be
made to beneficiaries.

The bank has released your account information for your funds of three
million five hundred thousand United States Dollars and we will give
you the details upon your confirmation of your personality.

I wait for your urgent response.

Yours Sincerely,
Dr. Eric McDonnel
AU Reconciliation Committee &
Access Bank Ghana

Anti-fraud resources: