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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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Fraud email example:

From: "CAPTAIN PHILIP COLEMAN" <> (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 30 May 2005 17:59:04 +0000
Subject: HELLO

Dear friend,

Let me start to introduce myself. I am Captain Philip Coleman of the US marine force currently serving in Iraq.

My troops were deployed here in Iraq since the starting of the war, though I have visited home trice since then.

Just last week Tuesday 24th May 30, 2005 we received an urgent call from Baghdad that some terrorists were camping there and my troops were sent there to forestall their activities.

On perceiving our presence, they first opened attack on us. There was nothing we could do rather than returning fire. We were really under heavy fire. Finally, we brought the situation under control and some of them flee, 6 were killed and we were able to arrest 11 of the alive.

When I was interrogating one of them, whom I got to know was their leader, to see if he could give us more useful information. After series of intense torture, he promised to show us where they kept their weapons. I took some of my men and went there not too far from karbala here in Iraq.

When we alighted from our patrol cars, he took us straight to a deserted building where inhabitants had vacated for long because of the war. Later, he took us to a particular room inside the building where Guns and Bombs were kept. I ordered my boys to search the other rooms.

About 5 minute later, one of them came back and took me to one of the rooms where there were five (5) trunk boxes. I opened them and to my amazement, they were loaded with the US dollars. I was confused, I ordered him not to show or tell anybody about it and we all returned to our base.

At night of the same day, I took one of my men who found the boxes and we went back there. We counted the money and they all amounted to $14million in $100 bills.

Now, I need your help to transfer this money because I want it to be in safe hands. I want you to give me your name, contact address and bank account number so that I can send the money there for keep. You have 30%, my boy who found the money have 20% while I have the rest. I will come down there immediately you cash it for the sharing.

Please, endeavor to keep this information secret. Don’t disclose it to anybody for security reasons and to protect my interest with the US marine force.

Please, mail me back to I will be waiting to hear from you.

Captian Philip Coleman.

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