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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: "Bello Ahmed" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2017 18:08:21 +0100
Subject: I wait for your urgent reply

Dear Sir,/Madam,

I am Bello Ahmed, a solicitor at law. My client who worked with Shell Petroleum, his wife and their only daughter were involved in a car accident along Sagbama express road. All occupants of the vehicle unfortunately lost there lives. Since then I have made several efforts to locate any of my client's extended relatives. This has also proved unsuccessful. After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to track and locate any member of his family, hence I contacted you.

I contacted you to assist in repatriating the funds valued at US$3.5 Million left behind by my late client before it gets confiscated or declared un-serviceable by the AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK, where this money is deposited. The said BANK has issued me a notice to provide the next-of-kin or have the account confiscated within the next 60 working days. For the fact that I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over 10 years now, I seek your consent to present you as the next-of-kin to the deceased so that the proceeds of this account can be paid to you. Therefore, on receipt of your positive response, we shall then discuss the sharing ratio and modalities for transfer.

I have all necessary information and legal documents needed to back you up for the claim. All I require from you is your honest co-operation to enable us see this transaction through. I guarantee that this will be executed under legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. Please get in touch with me through this email address for more details.

Best regards,
Bello Ahmed LL.B. (Hons)
Warwick B.L, Notary Public.

Anti-fraud resources: