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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: Otabil Mensah <>
Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2015 01:36:48 +0000
Subject: Best Regards From Your Brother Friend

Dear Friend.

I am surprised not getting a response from the earlier mail I sent to you.

Let me start by introducing myself properly to you. I am Mr. Otabil
Mensah, the Bank Manager of a Financial Institution. My client died
few years ago in Ghouta chemical weapons attack in Syria during his
business trip and both of you have the same last names. My client was
a supplier of High Tech Machineries, plants and equipment for the
renovation of our international airport. Prior his demise, he secured
a contract of US$21,000,000 from our aviation ministry which he
received a 64.3% mobilization fee of USD$13,500,000 and successfully
executed the contract. The 35.7% balance of his payment amounting to
USD$7,500,000 due to him was paid into his account few months after
his sudden Death.

Unfortunately he did not properly introduce any beneficiary to his
account at his demise and I have tried to reach his family but all
efforts proved void, hence my contacting you are to request your
assistance to stand as My client next of kin so that my bank can
transfer the USD$7,500,000 funds to your account, I agree that we
share the funds 40% for you and 60% for me, also my 60% share will
also be invested in your country under your care.

I understand this might be against your ethical belief and personal
indoctrination but life is not often what we think it is. I did not
mastermind the death of my client. If there were something I could
have done officially to have this money sent to his real relatives,
believe me, I would have done it since my religion forbids to take
somebody else thing but, frankly speaking, it will be stupid of me to
leave this funds in my bank.

Now, as an officer of the bank, I cannot be directly connected to the
fund which make me to request for your assistance to stand as the next
of kin to Mr My client to receive the fund. Kindly get back to me on
this id( ) for a brief discussion on how to
proceed. Please do treat this information as Top secret. Thanks for
your understanding.

Mr. Otabil Mensah

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