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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: "GORDON C" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 4 Mar 2016 06:36:35 +0200

Good day,

This investigation involves a client who shares the same surname with you and also the circumstances surrounding investments made by this client at the Private Banking Services. This private Banking Services client died intestate and nominated no successor in title over the investments made with the bank. The essence of this communication with you is to request you provide us information/comments on any or all of the four issues below;

1-Are you aware of any relative/relation who shares your same surname?
2-Are you aware of any investment of considerable value made by such a person at the Private Banking Service?
3-Who was born on the 21st of October, 1941?
4-Can you establish beyond reasonable doubt your eligibility to assume status of successor in title to the deceased?

It is pertinent that you inform me ASAP whether or not you are familiar with this personality.

You must appreciate that I am constrained from providing you with more detailed information at this point. Please respond to this mail as
soon as possible to afford us the opportunity to close this investigation. This portfolio could be of mutual benefits to both of us if you could share your light on the above questions as correct as possible.

Thank you for accommodating our enquiry.

Gordon Chang.

Anti-fraud resources: