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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: "James Gallagher" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2017 00:53:57 -0400

Dear Sir/Madam,
Firstly, I want you to know that this is not a scam email as you may probably want to assume. Based on what is going on all over the Internet, people find it very difficult to believe things like this anymore but this is not any of it or closely related.
I am James Gallagher, Attorney at Law  practicing mainly in Chancery and related areas, both in the public and private sectors. Specializes in Bankruptcy, Boundaries, Town & Village Greens, Company (contentious and non-contentious), Inheritance Claim, Compulsory Purchase, Contractual Disputes concerning Transfers of land, Disputed Co-Ownership, Easements, Highways. I am sending this letter to you because I desire your trust and partnership, if you can assure me of your trust and honesty, then we can work together on what I intend to propose to you.
I have in my possession, instruments and documents that will enable you assume the title of ownership for funds deposit that was made by a deceased client. Following the demise of the deceased client a memo was sent to my office from his bank to provide the next of kin to his entitlements with the company as the personal attorney to the deceased client. Unfortunately all effort aimed at locating any of his relative prove abortive since his supposed next of kin was also involve in the accident that led to his untimely death hence I contacted you independently of my private investigation for you to stand as the next of kin to the deceased since you bear the same surname.
I am prepared to send a report to corresponding bank, instructing them to release the deposit to 'you' as the closest surviving relative so we can share the proceeds in halves. The bank will approve of whomever I present before them with document to show as a relative to the deceased client. I would have gone ahead to ask the funds be released to me however that would draw a straight line to me and my involvement with claiming the deposit. An alternative would be for us to have the bank transfer the funds to your bank with you as the closest surviving relative.
I ask that if you find no interest in my proposal, do not be vindictive and destructive because I contacted you via email, kindly delete this message and forget I ever contacted you. I am not a criminal in what I do plus I do not fight against good conscience, this may be hard for you to understand however, the dynamics of the industry I work dictates that I make this move. I have evaluated the risk and the risk I have is from you refusing to work with me. The bank would declare the account unserviceable and confiscate the funds if I do not present a next of kin or closest surviving relative within the next 10 working days.
P.S: If you find yourself able and willing to work with me do not hesitate to write back via my email address. If you give me positive signals, I will give you detailed information about all you need to know in this transaction for a swift conclusion.
Yours faithfully,
James Gallagher

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