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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:



I am largely aware of the very high and alarming rate of fraud
going on around the whole world and a message like this will
definitely bring up thoughts into the mind of anybody about the
veracity of the information below and knowing that I just located
you and we haven't really met each other before now.

I am very sorry for intruding. I am contacting you because you
share the same last name with a deceased client of mine who died
a few years ago. He left behind huge bank deposits with no will
or testament. The bank has requested that I present any of his
relatives to claim his money otherwise it will be declared as
unclaimed and confiscated.

It is my plan therefore to present you to the bank as a relative
of my late client so that his deposit can be transferred to you
legally by virtue of the fact that you share the same last name
with him. I am able to make this presentation possible and will
guide you all the way until his funds are released to you. We
shall be sharing the proceeds of this claim equally if you accept
to work with me. I will share more details with you upon your
positive response to my email. I hope to hear from you soon.

Best Wishes,

Bar.Mark Smith

Anti-fraud resources: