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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. Chris Courtney" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 16 Jun 2017 12:19:29 -0700
Subject: Your Quick Reply is highly needed

Your Quick Reply is highly needed

Dear Friend,

Please pardon me for intruding into your privacy especially by contacting you through this medium for such discreet and lucrative business transaction of this magnitude which is available to the best of my knowledge by virtue of my position. I want you to partner with me in getting back the (US$7,300,000.00) left behind in a fixed deposit account in our bank by a citizen of your country now deceased. If this business proposal will endanger our position and reputation, I would not have contacted you.

I am presently the Director of Business Services of our bank in Indiana, United States of America and please do not expose this transaction for any reason, I will give you more information of myself, our bank and the transaction itself once you write again.

Our late customer a citizen of your country who lived and worked in the States as an international businessman deposited in our bank the sum of (US$7,300,000.00) Seven million, Three hundred thousand US Dollars as a fixed deposit. This deposit has long matured and the account has gone dormant for more than six (6) years. The bank has tried reaching him but all efforts proved abortive. His telephone number could not be reached, emails sent to him were not replied and we never got any response from the letters posted to his residential address which necessitated the banks visit to his home address but discovered he no longer lives there. This issue prompted me into carrying out an independent investigation about his whereabouts since he did not provide any next of kin or beneficiary at the time he made the deposit with us due to the sensitive nature of our Private Banking norms, most customers don't nominate a next of kin for their investment but in most cases, often leave their WILL in our care. Subsequently,
care. Subsequently, I later realized with shock that he died sometime in November 2009 of heart related ailment in a Los Angeles hospital. His death was not reported to our bank from that time till this moment and nobody in our bank is aware of this. He was a kind hearten & generous man. God rest his soul.

However, I want you to apply as the next of kin to the deceased customer to claim the deposit from our bank since he was from your country and died intestate; with no identifiable family member. It does not matter whether you knew him or had any relationship with him. I will guide you all the way to make this claim. This is not a matter of being greedy or having ugly morals, it is not best to leave the money which will eventually end up in Government hands while we can live better with it. This is a risk-free transaction because it will undergo normal and legal banking laws in accordance with the parameters of your country’s Government, considering my position in our bank the final approval of your application will be done by my department. Once it is approved, you will have the right to claim the money. And when it is transferred to your bank account, I will come over to your country for a (40:20) share. You will get 20% for assisting in receiving the fund in your bank account in your country, I get 40% as
With my influence, our bank will tender the necessary documents to the appropriate authorities in your country, as well as your Bank to enable a smooth and successful transfer of the fund to your local bank account. Everything will be done legally, have no fear about this. Right now, I shall provide all relevant documents relating to the fixed deposit our late customer made which you will file to back up this claim. All I require now is your honest cooperation and willingness to enable us make this claim and we must do this within the shortest time possible. If you are willing to do this with me, write back and I shall send and disclose all the RELEVANT DETAILS that will lead to the successful claim and transfer of this fund to you, and as well inform you on what next to do. Note that if nothing is done immediately, the fund will be out of the bank's portfolio and confiscated to the United States Department of the Treasury as an abandoned fund and we will gain nothing from it.

Finally, but most importantly, I beseech you not to utter the slightest word about this proposal to anyone to avoid any third-party complication and maintain an atmosphere of confidentiality.

I am waiting for your consent to move to the next step towards getting the fund and I want our communication to be basically through this personal e-mail and my direct telephone line; +1 765-946-0882 for now.

Thank you as I await your swift and prompt revert as soon as possible.

Humble regards,
Chris Courtney.

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