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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: Paul Thurston <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 26 May 2017 12:01:07 +0100
Subject: From the desk of Mr. Paul Thurston.

From the desk of Mr. Paul Thurston
Of HSBC Bank Plc,
Address: 15315 Culver Dr #187, Irvine, CA 92604, United States
Hours: Open today · 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Dear Sir,

We wish to contact you regarding the transferring of your fund $2.3 million which was deposited here in our bank since October last year, we also want to let you know that we are not going to hesitate to get this fund transferred into your personal bank account once we receive any form of identification from you, either International Passport, valid Driver's License or a Valid National Identification Card and your other information.

This bank has a standard tradition to reasonably safeguard customer's information from unauthorized intrusion, therefore as soon as we confirm your identity as requested above our online account opening portal will be sent to you for you to set up an online account with us which is where your fund will be deposited and made available for your transfer into your local bank account.

Your Transaction Identification Number: (BR N0. 332096528).

We look forward to your full cooperation and understanding towards this. Your satisfaction is our priority.

Yours Sincerely,
Paul Thurston
(PT62 CEO)

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Anti-fraud resources: