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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: "\"William Botts\" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 2017 06:25:33 -0800
Subject: From William

My name is William Botts, I write to you in good faith and trust that you will take a moment to consider the contents of this letter. it is my belief that you are a perfect partner for this transaction of mine.
I am seeking for your co-operation to present you as the next of kin/business partner to my late client who died interstate in the year 2006 leaving behind no one to inherit his wealth.  All efforts to trace any member of his family has been fruitless, so I decided to write you to ask for your co-operation.
My late client died and left the amount of US$12,500,00.00(Twelve Million, Five Hundred Thousand US Dollars) which he deposited with a financial institution. My intention is to legally make you his next of kin/business partner for the fund deposit to be released to you legally by the bank.
I am therefore proposing that you partner with me and assist in effecting the release of the fund for our mutual benefit/investment. We are to share this money between ourselves.
If you are interested in this offer, please feel free to contact me immediately for further details.
I await your urgent response to enable us jumpstart this project and nurture it to reality.
Yours faithfully,
William Botts

Anti-fraud resources: