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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: "Smith" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2018 09:20:36 -0700

My name is James Smith, I am an auditor in a foreign private domestic bank. I got your contact in my search for the next of kin to a deceased customer of our bank (Mr. Bob Konwisarz), a foreign investor and national of your country who died of cardiac arrest 5 years ago. He left a deposit account worth (US$7.2 million). Unfortunately, he had no will on the account leaving the account with an open Next of Kin beneficiary position.
The law stipulates that when there has been no activity in any account or a claim to the account within a specified period by law (5 years), the law requires the bank to turn the account over to the unclaimed property office where the money will be turned over to the government as unclaimed.
Presently, I'm legally equipped with information and documents on this account, which will back up any claim made in your name as a Next of Kin to the deceased since you bear same last name, the claim resolution process takes (21) working days to get approved by the bank and shall be handled under legal rules of inheritance Act.
I beg to present you before the bank as a Next of Kin to the deceased since you bear same last name, so that the funds will be paid to you, there will be a mutual understanding between me and you while processing this funds. I propose you take 40% of the funds upon completion while I and my colleague who works inside the bank keeps 60% if this proposition is acceptable to you please respond back to me urgently via email or Fax and I will send you more details regarding the process.
I look forward to your urgent response.
Thank you for your time.
James M. Smith

Anti-fraud resources: