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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: "shawn paul" <>
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 01:00:38 +0000

Important Message
FROM: Sgt. Irvin Shawn
Dear Sir
Good day to you
My name is Irvin Shawn I am an American soldier, serving in the
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
Click on this link to read about even that took place here
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
is why I have contacted you, so you can keep it for us in your safe
or an offshore account.
We will divide the total funds in three ways, since we are three
in this. You will take 30%, and 30% will be for me, and my superior
take 30%. 10% will be kept aside for expenses. This business is
confidential, and it should not be discussed with anyone.
There is no risk involved whatsoever. If you are interested i will send
the full details, my job is to find a good partner that we can trust
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
for quick communication and also your contact details. This business is
risk free.
Please reply me via this email.
Respectfully submitted
Sgt. Irvin Shawn

Anti-fraud resources: