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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: "Mrs. Theresa Joseph" <>
Reply-To: "Mrs. Theresa Joseph" <>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 17:34:08 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Greetings my dear

Greetings my dear

I know that this letter may be a very big surprise to you and I believe that you will be honest to reply my message.

I am Mrs. Theresa Joseph, I am 58 years old, and I am suffering from a long time cancer of the Lung. From all indication my condition is really deteriorating, and my doctors have courageously advised me that I may not live beyond the next 60 days, this is because the cancer condition has reached a chronic stage.

I was married to late Mr. Johnson Joseph for twenty years without offspring. My husband was  a very successful international cocoa export director but unfortunately he died of poison after spending 3 months in the hospital. Since his death I decided not to re-marry as my religion does not permit it,

My late husband deposited the sum of (USD$13.2M) with a financial institution here which I need your kind assistance to receive the fund for the continuation of God's works. Presently, this money is still in the bank and the management just wrote me as the legitimate inheritor to inform me of the maturity date of my deposit as it may be confiscated prior to the national banking system that any account that gone dormant for period of 6 years will be confiscated and return to government treasury. Recently the general manager of the bank advised me to issue a letter of authorization to somebody abroad to receive it on my behalf since I cannot come over as a result of my illness or they get it confiscated.

Presently, I'm in the hospital undergoing treatment. I have since lost my ability to talk loud and my doctors have told me that I have only a few months to live. It is my last wish to see that my fund is invested in any charity organization of your choice and proceeds distribution amongst the charity organizations, the poor ones and the motherless baby's orphanage homes.

I must let you know that this is a very hard decision but I have to take a bold step of faith towards this issue because I have no further option. I hope you will help to see that my husband's wish come true. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the full details about the deposit and the guidelines on how the fund will be transferred to your custody for the accomplishment of this noble project to the service of humanity. I will also issue you a letter of authorization, which will prove that you are the new beneficiary to my funds.

Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated herein. Hope to hear from you soonest.

Yours Faithfully,
Mrs. Theresa Joseph.

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