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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:

Date: Sun, 01 Jun 2008 13:56:24 +0000

Hi there,

I hope y'all having a great weekend. I am Williams Barnes, a US marine currently serving in Iraq. I got your email address from a very reliable source and I believe that you will maintain the level of confidence and trust that this mission requires. Several months ago, My unit discovered some abandoned cash in the mansion of the slayed former president of Iraq, Saddam Husein during a covert military raid. The total cash we discovered was $25 Million USD. We stashed all the funds in one trunk box and moved it secretly out of Iraq to Kuwait for safekeeping. We waited until the verdict for Saddam Husein's death sentence has been passed, and executed to make sure there is no way anybody could trace the money to us. Now, we need to move the money out of Kuwait to the United States. I am contacting you because we need your assistance in receiving the box for us on your behalf, and securing the cash until we return home from service. Please note that we can not use any known relative or friend of ours for this transaction because our superior officers have a way of tracking communications between known relatives and we want to keep this operation covert. This transaction has been well planned and risk free. All we need is for you to provide us with the following info so that we can ship the box through a secure diplomatic channel in Kuwait.

1. Your Full name
2. The address where you want the box to be delivered
3. Your private telephone number where you can be reached 24 hours.

If for some reasons you don't want to or can't help us, I want you to delete this message immediately and assume we never had this conversation. However, if you are going to fully cooperate with us in this transaction, we will compensate you with 15% of the total cash (3.75 Million US Dollars) after the mission is accomplished. Like I said earlier, we are a GO and waiting for your response. This is a very serious deal and I wouldn't be asking for your help if I am not convinced that this is not going to bring any harm to you or your family, or put you in a risky position. We have worked the kinks out and am very convinced this is gonna be successful.

Once we get a positive response from you with the info requested, we will proceed into the next step and I will give you further instructions. I hope I can rely on your sense of discretion. Write back soon buddy.

In God we trust,

Williams Barnes.

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