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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: "Joseph Wilman" <>
Reply-To: "Joseph Wilman" <>
Date: Tue, 05 Jun 2018 18:32:47 -0700
Subject: Good

Good day,

I am Joseph Wilman,

I have emailed you earlier few weeks ago without any response from

In my first email I mentioned about my late client whose relatives I
cannot get in touch with. But both of you have the same last name so
it will be very easy to front you as his official next of kin.
I am compelled to do this because I would not want the bank to push my
clients funds into their treasury  as unclaimed funds. If you are
interested you do let me know so that I can give you Comprehensive

on what we are to do.
My late client made a huge deposit in our bank here and we must work
to claim his funds before the bank will push it to their treasure as
unclaimed funds. I await your immediate response

Yours faithfully,

Mr. Joseph Wilman

Anti-fraud resources: