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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: "Robert Paulson LLB" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 22 May 2019 05:13:34 -0500
Subject: Urgent Respond Needed

Iím Robert Paulson, expert in corporate and legal claims; Iím a partner at Robert & Brooks Associates. I am contacting you in regards to a deceased client of mine, Mr Kevin   who died in an auto accident in George, Western Cape, South Africa in March 2013, he was a prominent client of mine and happens to share the same LAST NAME with you.
Before his death, my client deposited Forty Five Million Five Hundred United States Dollars at the vault of a financial institution here in South Africa. Documentations regarding this transaction indicate that claims can only be made by his relative/ family members, unfortunately he had no will at the time of his death. All efforts made revealed  no link to any of his family member.
However, the New South African Law of succession/claims/fund indicates a duration in which such claims could be tolerated. The financial institution have mandated me to present the next of kin or a relative who will claim the funds and Failure to respond to this ultimatum would legally allow the financial institute to report this funds to the central bank of South Africa as unclaimed funds(Lack of supersede).
I have put in place all necessary requirements concerning the release of this funds and It is my intention to introduce this opportunity to you as the beneficiary. Please note that Iím legally equipped with all necessary information/documentations concerning this fund.
Upon your decision of acceptance, I would process the release of these funds to your possession; you would be entitled to 40% of the said funds and 60% for me.
For time difference and confidential reasons, I strongly advise that you firstly contact me via fax or email. Immediately you get in touch with me, I would be able to inform you on how this could be concluded.
In conclusion, itís my concern to demand your ultimate honesty, co-operation and confidentiality to enable us conclude this transaction. I GUARANTEE that this process would be executed under a legitimate arrangement that would legally protect you from any breach of law.                                        
Robert  Paulson LLB.
Fax: +27 86 5934251

Anti-fraud resources: