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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: "Irvin shawn" <>
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2005 07:02:37 -0500
Subject: ATTN

FROM: Sgt. Irvin Shawn
Dear Sir
Good day to you
My name is Irvin Shawn I am an American soldier,
serving in the military with the 1st Armored Division
in Iraq. I and my superior moved funds
belonging to Saddam Hussein, the total is
$25,000,000.00 (Twenty Five million US dollars) this
money is being kept safe in a security company.
Click on this link to read about even that took place
Basically since we are working for the government we
cannot keep these funds, we have decided to look for
someone to help us keep this funds this is why I have
contacted you, so you can keep it for us in your safe
account or an offshore account.
We will divide the total funds in three ways, since we
are three involved in this. You will take 30%, and 30%
will be for me, and my superior will take 30%. 10%
will be kept aside for expenses. This business is
confidential, and it should not be discussed with
There is no risk involved whatsoever. If you are
interested i will send you the full details, my job is
to find a good partner that we can trust and that will
assist us.
Can i trust you? When you receive this letter, kindly
send me an e-mail signifying your interest including
your confidential telephone/fax numbers for quick
communication and also your contact details. This
business is risk free.
Respectfully submitted
Sgt. Irvin Shawn

Anti-fraud resources: