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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.Patrick James" <>
Date: Thu, 29 Oct 2020 08:17:14 -0700


I am aware that this letter has come to you as a surprise as we have
not met before or handled any business deals in the past.I have been
in search of someone from your country with the SAME LAST NAME with
the deceased",so when I found you, I was pushed to contact you and see
how best we can assist each other. Nevertheless, I have contacted you
with genuine intentions and I hope I can trust you with this
Inheritance opportunity which will be explained below.
My name is Mr.Patrick James, Account Manager with BNP Paribas,
London,UK. I retrieved your contact address in my search for the next
of kin to a deceased customer of our bank, a citizen of your country.
The Deceased had a fixed deposit with my bank in January 2010 for 36
calendar months, valued at GBP12,659,761:00 the due date for this
deposit contract was the 16th of January 2013. Sadly, he died in Auto
crash in the year 2011 in United Kingdom. My bank management is yet to
know about his death, I knew about it because I am his account
officer. He did not mention any Next of Kin/Heir when the account was
opened, and he was not married and no children. Last week my Bank
Management requested that he should give instructions on what to do
about his funds, if to renew the contract.
Since then, I have been looking for a means to handle the situation
and now, because of the threatening notice from the bank, if my Bank
Directors happens to know that he is dead and do not have any Heir,
they will not hesitate to divert the funds to their personal selfish
uses, I don't want such to happen. That is why when I saw your last
name I was happy and I am now seeking your co-operation to present you
as Next of Kin/ Heir to the account, since you have the same last name
with him and my bank head quarters will release the account/fund to
This transaction is 100% risk and trouble free, the transaction will
be handled under due inheritance procedures and every necessary
arrangement will be put in place to ensure success.It is better that
we claim the money, than allowing the Bank Directors to take it, they
are rich already.Once the funds are released to you, it will be shared
between the two of us. By claiming this fund we have reverted the fund
back to the use of the community instead of been stacked in the bank
fault and my share will assist me to touch many dying lives and also
start my own company which has been my dream.

This is once in a life time opportunity, we should treat it as such
and you are require to keep this strictly confidential at all time.
I await for your timely response.
Mr.Patrick James.
10 Harewood Ave, Marylebone,
London NW1 6AA, UK

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