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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: "Richard M. Ruthven" <>
Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2014 09:36:31 +0200
Subject: Private Investigation

Dear Friend,

My name is Richard M. Ruthven; I am a senior partner in the Technical
Advisory Board of Standard Bank Group South Africa (Senior Security
Specialist). We are conducting a standard process investigation on behalf
of "SB Group", the International Banking conglomerate.

I sincerely apologize for sending you this sensitive information via
e-mail instead of a certified mail, phone call or a face-to-face
conversation, it is due to the urgency and importance of the security
information involve this investigation.

This investigation involves a client who shares the same surname with you
and also the circumstances surrounding investments made by this client at
"SB Group", the Private Banking arm of Standard Trust Bank. The client died
in testate and nominated no successor in title over the investments made
with the bank. I would respectfully request that you keep the contents of
this mail private and respect the integrity of the information you come by
as a result of this mail.

I contacted you independently of our investigation and no one is informed
of this communication. I would like to intimate you with certain facts that
I believe would be of interest to you. You share similar details to the
late fellow; I am prepared to place you in a position to instruct the firm
to release the deposit to you as the closest surviving relation. Upon
receipt of the deposit, I am prepared to share the money with you, that is,
I will simply nominate you as the next of kin and have them release the
deposit to you. We share the proceeds 60/40.

I would have gone ahead to ask the funds be released to me, but that would
have drawn a straight line to me and my involvement in claiming the
deposit. But on the other hand, you with the same very name as the
depositor's would easily pass as the beneficiary with right to claim. I
assure you that I could have the deposit released to you within few working

I am aware of the consequences of this proposal. I ask that if you find no
interest in this project that you should discard this mail. I ask that you
do not be vindictive and destructive. If my offer is of no appeal to you,
delete this message and forget I ever contacted you. Do not destroy my
career because you do not approve of my proposal. You may not know this but
people like myself who have made tidy sums out of comparable situations run
the whole private banking sector. I am not a criminal and what I do, I do
not find against good conscience, this may be hard for you to understand,
but the dynamics of my industry dictates that I make this move. Such
opportunities only come ones in a lifetime. I cannot let this chance pass
me by, for once; I have found myself in total control of my destiny. These
chances won't pass me by. I ask that you do not destroy my chance, if you
will not work with me let me know and let me move on with my life but do
not destroy me.

There is a reward for this project and it is a task well worth undertaking.
I have evaluated the risks and the only risk I have here is from you
refusing to work with me. I am the only one who knows of this situation,
good fortune has blessed you with a name that has planted you into the
center of relevance in my life. Let’s share the blessing. If you find
yourself able to work with me, contact me through my email account below.
If you give me positive signals, I will initiate this process towards a

I send you this mail not without a measure of fear as to what the
consequences, but I know within me that nothing ventured is nothing gained
and that success and riches never come easy or on a platter of gold. This
is the one truth I have learned from my private banking clients. Do not
betray my confidence.

If we can be of one accord, we should plan a meeting soon.

Kindly get back to me via E-mail:

Kind regards,

Richard M.Ruthven

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