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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: "Theo Wilbert" <>
Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2016 20:26:49 +0100
Subject: Schneider

- This mail is in HTML. Some elements may be ommited in plain text. -

I would like to intimate you with certain facts that I believe would be of interest to you.
In 2008; Mr Andreas Schneider came to us to engage in business discussions with our private banking division. He informed us that he had a financial portfolio which he wished to have us turn over (invest) on his behalf. I was the officer assigned to his case, I made numerous suggestions in line with my duties as the de-facto global head of the Offshore banking sector, especially given the volume of funds he wished to put into our management. We met on numerous occasions prior to any investments being placed.
I encouraged him to consider various growth funds with prime ratings. The favored route in my advice to customers is to start by assessing data on 6000 traditional stocks and bond managers and 2000 managers of alternative investments popularly known as hedge Funds. Based on my advice, we spun the money around various opportunities and made attractive margins for our first two months of operation, the accrued he quickly withdrew off the investment deposit. This margin was not the full potential of the fund but he desired low risk guaranteed returns on investments.
In mid 2009, he asked that the money be liquidated because he needed to make an urgent investment requiring cash payments in Madrid. He directed that I liquidate the funds and had it deposited with a firm in Dubai. I informed him that our company would have to make special arrangements to have this done and in order not to circumvent due process, our company would have to make a 2.5 % deduction from the funds to cater for banking and statutory charges. He complained about the charges but later came around when I explained to him the complexities of the task he was asking of us, he was more worried about the heavy taxation the European Union might impose and also to avoid dual taxation from European member countries. Cash movement across borders has become especially strict since the incidents of 9/11.
I had almost started the process of liquidating the funds as directed, but getting across to him became a problem. This was an astounding position as far as I was concerned if you know what I mean. In Line with his instructions, Schneider told me he wanted the money there in anticipation of his arrival from France later that week. This was the last communication we had, this transpired around 27th September 2009 and I could not understand what happened to Schneider then. We made futile efforts to locate Schneider. I immediately passed the task of locating him to the internal investigations department of our company. Four days later, information started to trickle in, apparently Schneider was dead. A person who suited his description was declared dead of a heart attack in France. We were soon enough able to identify the body and cause of death was confirmed. Our company immediately launched an investigation into possible surviving next of kin to alert about the situation and also to come forward to claim his estate. If you are familiar with investment deposit affairs, those who patronize it services usually prefer anonymity, but also some levels of detachment from conventional processes. In his bio-data form, he listed no next of kin. In the field of most investment, depositing funds means no one will know of its existence, accounts are rarely held under a name; depositors use numbers and codes to make the accounts anonymous. Firms that are involves also gives the choice to depositors of having their mail sent to them or held at the financial institution itself, ensuring that there are no traces of the account and as I said, rarely do they nominate Next of Kin. Offshore clients apart from not nominating Next of Kin also usually in most cases leaves wills in care of firms involves with directives to appoint any surviving relatives, in this case; Schneider died intestate. In line with our internal processes for account holders who have passed away, we instituted our own investigations in good faith to determine who should have right to claim the estate.
This investigation has for the past months been unfruitful. We have scanned every continent and used our private investigation affiliate companies to get to the root of the problem. My official capacity dictates that my department supervises the eventual outcome of the investigation. My intention is to present you as the last batch of relatives we had considered, given that your names, continent, religou or thereabout appears similar or related to the deceased which are the primary considerations my office shall be looking at during the process of claims in addition to the deceased secret information in his files that I'll be releasing to you, I honestly can present and back you up with all requirements as the legal next of kin to the deceased, but the truth is that our dear late fellow died with no known or identifiable family member. This leaves you as the only person with the full picture of what the prevailing situation is in relation to the deposit and the late beneficiary of the deposit.
The world of secret investments, funds is fraught with huge rewards for those who occupy certain offices and oversee certain portfolios. You should have begun by now to put together the general direction of what I propose. I have the deposit details and they will release the deposit to no one unless under directives from my office. All outstanding interactions in relation to the file are just routine and due process. They are simply awaiting instructions to release the deposit to any party that comes forward as the beneficiary. Our company has spent great amounts of money trying to track this man?s family; they have investigated for years and have found no family. The investigation had been concluded and closed a while back not until my newest intentions.
I am willing to discuss further details with you as soon as I hear from you.
Theo Wilbert.

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