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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: "Parish Priest" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2017 21:38:04 -0000

St Benedict Parish
Abbey Charlbury Grove Ealing
London W5 2DY
United Kingdom          
Dearly Beloved,
                                              Notification of Bequest
On behalf of the Trustees and Executor of the estate of Late Dr Phillip Melchiorre,I once again try to notify you as my earlier letter to you through the Post
Office was returned undelivered.I hereby attempt to reach you via your e-mail address.I wish to notify you that late Dr Phillip Melchiorre made you a
beneficiary to his will.He left the sum of Thirty Million United States Dollars (US30,000,000.00) to you in the codicil and last atestation to his will.
Being a widely travelled man,he must have been in contact with you in the past or simply you were nominated to him by one of his numerous friends abroad who
wished you good.Late Dr Phillip Melchiorre until his death was an Ethical philosopher,former managing director and pioneer staff of a giant construction
company.He was a very devoted christian who loved to give out and devoted himself to writing books.His great philanthropy earned him numerous awards during
his life time.Late Dr Phillip Melchiorre Will is now ready for execution.
According to him this money is to support your personal endeavours and to help the poor and the needy.Please If I reach you as I am hopeful,endeavour to get
back to me as soon as possible to enable the immediate execution of your portion of the bequest to enable earlier disbursment by the Paying Bank.You should
foward along your telephone and fax numbers including a proof to confirm your identity as the beneficiary in question and your current mailing address if
different from the above.Proof of Identity should be either International passport or drivers License.
I hope to hear from you immediately.
Yours in his service,
Rev.Angelos Thompson
Parish Priest

Anti-fraud resources: