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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: Paul Ngwuma <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 13 Feb 2021 06:48:30 -0800
Subject: I wait to read from you soon.

Dear Friend,
Greetings, I will be glad if we can do business together. This opportunity will be of great benefit for us. Can i trust you? I am Barrister Paul Ngwuma the Personal Attorney to late Mr. Michael Williams, who died some years ago As a matter of fact, My client made a fixed deposit Amount, valued at (USD$15.9M) The fund is now without any claim because no one has come forward for the claim, and i contacted you to stand as the next of kin and pattern with me to enable us claim the fund.
If you agree to work with me on this issue as the next of kin to the deceased? Since i have all the necessary details needed to claim the Funds kindly reconfirm the following to enable us proceed with this transaction. As soon as you confirm the above information's i will detail you more about this transaction.
Full names: / Private phone numbers:/ Passport ID/ Office/residential address:
Occupation: / Age and Sex:
So, Please if you are interested, kindly get back to me as quickly as possible to enable me make all the necessary arrangement towards how to present you to the bank as "truly next of kin" to the late man. It does not matter if you are from America or not.You may also reach me at my private mailbox: to enable us discuss further the progress of this business
I wait to read from you soon.
Barrister Paul Ngwuma

Anti-fraud resources: