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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.

Click here to report a problem with this page.



Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:

Fraud email example:

From: "PAYMENT ERROR UPDATE" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2022 12:07:11 -0800

With profound respect,

I am Rob Whittick of NatWest Group, United Kingdom. I am contacting
you concerning a deceased customer and an investment he placed under
our banks management some years ago, and I would respectfully request
that you keep the contents of this mail confidential and respect the
integrity of the information you come by as a result of this mail.

I am contacting you independently of our investigation and no one is
informed of this communication. I would like to intimate you with
certain facts that I believe would be of interest to you. In the year
2015, the subject matter; came to our bank to engage in business
discussions. He informed us that he had a financial portfolio of Ten
million United States dollars, which he wished to have us turn over
(invest) on his behalf.

I decided to treat his case personally; I made numerous suggestions in
line with my duties as the de-facto Chief investment officer of the
bank, especially given the volume of funds he wished to put into our
bank. We met on numerous occasions prior to any investments being
placed. I encouraged him to consider various growth funds with prime
ratings. The favoured route in my advice to customers is to start by
assessing data on 6000 traditional stocks and bond managers and 2000
managers of alternative investments. Based on my advice, We spun the
money around various opportunities and made attractive margins for our
first months of operation, the accrued profit and interest stood at
this point at over One million United States Dollars, this margin was
not the full potential of the fund but he desired low risk guaranteed
returns on investments.

In November 2016, he asked that the money be liquidated because he
needed to make an urgent investment requiring cash payments in Finland
. Where he said, he is investing with a Firm that is building a
housing estate outside Helsinki for the government of Finland . He
directed that I liquidate the investment and deposit the funds with a
security firm. I informed him that NatWest Group would have to make
special arrangements to have this done and in order not to circumvent
due process, the bank would have to make a 9.5 % deduction from the
funds to cater for banking and statutory charges. He complained about
the charges but later came around when I explained to him the
complexities of the task he was asking of us.

Cash movement across boarders has become especially strict since the
incidents of 9/11. I contacted my affiliate and made the funds
available to a security firm. I undertook all the processes and made
sure I followed his precise instructions to the letter and had the
funds deposited with the security firm. The Security Firm is a
specialist private firm that accepts deposits from high net worth
individuals and blue chip corporations that handle valuable products
or undertake transactions that need immediate access to cash. This
small and highly private organization is familiar especially to the
highly placed and well-connected organizations. In line with
instructions, the money was deposited with the security firm. The
Customer told me he wanted the money there in anticipation of his
arrival from Norway later that week. This was the last communication
we had, this transpired around 26th February 2017. In June last year,
we got a call from the security firm informing us about the inactivity
of that particular portfolio.

This was an astounding position as far as I was concerned, given the
fact that I managed the private banking sector I was the only one who
knew about the deposit at the security firm, and I could not
understand why the Customer had not come forward to claim his deposit.
I made futile efforts to locate the Customer. I immediately passed the
task of locating him to the internal investigations department of
NatWest Group. Four days later, information started to trickle in,
apparently our client was dead. A person who suited his description
was declared dead of a heart attack in Canne, in Southern part of
France. The body was identified and the cause of death was confirmed.
The bank immediately launched an investigation into possible surviving
next of kin to alert them about the situation and also to come forward
to claim his estate. If you are familiar with private banking affairs,
those who patronize our services usually prefer anonymity, but also
some levels of detachment from conventional processes.

In his bio-data form, he listed no next of kin. In the field of
private banking, opening an account with us means no one will know of
its existence, accounts are rarely held under a name; depositors use
numbers and codes to make the accounts anonymous. This bank also gives
the choice to depositors of having their mail sent to them or held at
the bank itself, ensuring that there are no traces of the account and
as I said, rarely do they nominate next of kin. Private banking
clients apart from not nominating next of kin also usually in most
cases leave wills in our care, in this case; the deceased died without
a testate. In line with our internal processes for account holders who
have passed away, we instituted our own investigations in good faith
to determine who should have right to claim the estate. This
investigation has for the past months been unfruitful. We have scanned
every continent and used our private investigation affiliate companies
to get to the root of the problem. It is this investigation that
resulted in my being furnished with your details as a possible
relative of the deceased.

My official capacity dictates that I am the only party to supervise
the investigation and the only party to receive the results of the
investigation. What this means, after investigating the last batch of
names forwarded to us as possible relatives, we have come to the
conclusion that our dear late fellow died with no known or
identifiable family member. This leaves me as the only person with the
full picture of what the prevailing situation is in relation to the
deposit and the late beneficiary of the deposit.

According to practice, The Security Firm will by the end of this year
broadcast a request for statements of claim to NatWest Group, failing
to receive viable claims they will most probably revert the deposit
back to NatWest Group. This will result in the money entering
the NatWest Group accounting system and the portfolio will be out of
my hands and out of the private banking division.

This will not happen if I have my way. What I wish to relate to you
will smack of unethical practice but I want you to understand
something. It is only an outsider to the banking world who finds the
internal politics of the banking world aberrational. The world of
private banking especially is fraught with huge rewards for those that
occupy certain offices and oversee certain portfolios. You should have
begun by now to put together the general direction of what I propose.
There is Ten million dollars deposited in a security firm, I alone
have the deposit details and they will release the deposit to no one
unless I instruct them to do so. I alone know of the existence of this
deposit for as far as NatWest Group is concerned.

The transaction with our late customer concluded when I sent the funds
to the security firm, all outstanding interactions in relation to the
file are just customer services and due process. The security Firm has
no single idea of what's the history or nature of the deposit. They
are simply awaiting instructions to release the deposit to any party
that come forward. This is the situation. This bank has spent great
amounts of money trying to track this man's family; they have
investigated for months and have found no family the investigation has
come to an end.

My proposal; I am prepared to place you in a position to instruct the
security Firm to release the deposit to you as the closest surviving
relative. Upon receipt of the deposit I am prepared to share the money
with you. That is, I will simply nominate you as the next of kin and
have them release the deposit to you and share the proceeds with you
in a percentage we will arrive at taking into consideration our
individual level of commitment. I would have gone ahead to ask that
the funds be released to me, but that would have drawn a straight line
to me and my involvement in claiming the deposit. But presenting you
as a relative with the right to claim the deposit as a next of kin
will mask my involvement and participation in diverting the deposit
for personal use. You will get all the documents needed to effect this
claim immediately you notify me of your acceptance to claim this
deposit for our mutual benefit.

I assure you that I could have the deposit released to you within a
few days. I will simply inform the bank of the final closing of the
file relating to the deceased. I will then officially communicate with
The Security Firm and instruct them to release the deposit to you with
these two things all is done.

The alternative would be for us to have The Security Firm direct the
funds to another bank with you as account holder. This way there will
be no need for you to think of receiving the money from The Security
Company. We can fine-tune this based on our interactions. I am aware
of the consequences of this proposal. I ask that if you find no
interest in this project that you should discard this mail. I ask that
you do not be vindictive and destructive. If my offer is of no appeal
to you, delete this message and forget I ever contacted you. Do not
destroy my career because you do not approve of my proposal. You may
not know this but people like myself who have made tidy sums out of
comparable situations run the whole private banking sector.

I am not a criminal and what I do, I do not find against good
conscience, this may be hard for you to understand, but the dynamics
of my industry dictates that I make this move. Such opportunities only
come ones’ way once in a lifetime. I cannot let this chance pass me
by, for once I find myself in total control of my destiny. This chance
won't pass me by. I ask that you do not destroy my chance, if you will
not work with me let me know and let me move on with my life but do
not destroy me. I am a family man and this is an opportunity to
provide them with new opportunities. There is a reward for this
project and it is a task well worth undertaking.

I have evaluated the risks and the only risk I have here is from you
refusing to work with me and alerting my bank. I am the only one who
knows of this situation, good fortune has blessed you with a luck that
has planted you into the center of relevance in my life. Let's share
the blessing. If you find yourself able to work with me, contact me
through this email account. If you give me positive signals, I will
initiate this process towards a conclusion. I wish to inform you that
should you contact me via official channels; I will deny knowing you
and about this project. I repeat, I do not want you contacting me
through my official phone lines nor do I want you contacting me
through my official email account. Contact me only through the numbers
I will provide for you and also through this email address. I do not
want any direct link between you and myself. My official lines are not
secured lines as they are periodically monitored to assess our level
of customer care in line with our Total Quality Management Policy.
Please observe this instruction religiously.

Please, again, note I am a family man; I have a wife and children. I
send you this mail not without a measure of fear as to what the
consequences, but I know within me that nothing ventured is nothing
gained and that success and riches never come easy or on a platter of
gold. This is the one truth I have learned from my private banking
clients. Do not betray my confidence.

Thanks for your anticipated cooperation


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