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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: "wood johnson" <>
Date: Mon, 2 Jun 2008 16:06:01 +0300

Dear Friend, My name is Sgt.Johnson Wood of The 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines,
I am serving in Iraq (Mosul) and I will need your assistance to take care of
some financial matters for me and of course you will be adequately

I have to urgently evacuate money the sum of $20,000,000.00 (Twenty million
US dollars) clean legal notes and all in US$100 bills out of here to a safe
place, having found a secure way to do so. 5 million US dollars (US$
5,000,000) will be your share for rendering this assistance.

SOURCE OF MONEY: Some money in various currencies were discovered concealed
in barrels with piles of weapons and ammunitions at a location near one of
Saddam,s old palaces during a rescue operation several months ago and it was
agreed by the few of us present that the money be shared amongst us, though
this was an illegal thing to do, but I tell you what? No compensation can
make up for the risks we are taking with our lives in this hell hole. Click
on this links to read about event that took place here The above figure was
given to me as my share and for several reasons, concealing this volume of
cash here has been a big problem/source of distraction to me. I have now
found a temporary solution with the help of a man who is working with an
international organization here, She does not know the real contents of the
packages used in concealing the funds and must not know rather believes that
the packages belong to an Asian American who died in an air raid and before
giving up, he trusted me to hand the packages as it is to his business
associate in Europe.

One request I will like that you keep this information to yourself. Should
you have any reasons to reject this offer, please destroy this mail as any
leakage will be too bad for us. I want to have a very peaceful retirement
life after my service here and I rely so much on this fortune to provide
that for me. If this proposal is acceptable by you, I await your urgent
e-mail so we can discuss more.

Sgt. Johnson Wood


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