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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: "Mr. Richard Leo." (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2016 03:42:20 +0300
Subject: Mr. Richard Leo

I am Mr. Richard Leo and I work as a portfolio manager at a branch of Banco Santander here in Europe. I am contacting you with regards to a time fixed deposit made at my branch by a customer. In January 2004, a customer walked into my branch and opted to operate a fixed deposit account. At that time it totaled USD21, 000,000 (Twenty One Million USD).
In June 2008, he came back and informed the bank he needed the funds for investment in bonds. As his accounts officer I was mandated to make arrangements for the funds with accruing interests now totaling $ 24,612,000 (Twenty Four Million Six Hundred and Twelve Thousand USD) to be lodged with a stock brokerage firm as requested by the customer.
Sometime mid 2012 I was contacted by the brokerage firm who informed my bank that the bonds had not been claimed. I then tried to contact our customer but could not reach him. A visit to the address he indicated on his form with us showed he left the address 4 years ago. His account with us had no Next of Kin. Further investigation revealed that the man had passed away in an accident.
As the banking officer in charge of his account, I have sole knowledge of its current status as my bank has already delivered to owner as per banking records. Since the owner is deceased and left no Next of Kin and no WILL, I want you to stand as beneficiary of the fund. I will make necessary arrangements so you and I working as partners can have this fund claimed and then transferred to any account of your choice for sharing. 60% will be for me while 40% will be for you.
Be assured that there is no risk involved and you are not liable in any way as necessary documents will be secured before claim is initiated. If you find it possible to work with me, please contact me via this email:
Mr. Richard Leo.

Anti-fraud resources: