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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: "Mr James Witherspoon" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 8 Apr 2022 11:17:53 -0700
Subject: Investment Relationship

Season Greeting,

My name is Mr James Witherspoon, an Investment Attorney with a reputable
legal & investment management firm. My Firm mostly represents the interests
of wealthy investors.

Due to the sensitivity of the position they hold in their society and the
unstable investment environment of their country, some of our Clients
evacuate majority of their funds into more stable economies and developed
nations where they can get good yield for their money.

A Reserved Client, whom I had personally worked with a few years ago with a
proposal, recently approached me. What he request is an individual such as
you, who will be willing to receive money on his behalf, and put it to good
use for a period not exceeding 6 years for a start.

The Client has offered some terms which will be discussed when you show
interest and make appointment for meeting to know more and understanding,

Mr James Whitherspoon

Anti-fraud resources: