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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: "Sgt. Scott Wilson" <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 15 Oct 2011 22:18:15 +0530
Subject: I am Sgt.Scott Wilson, with the U.S Army 61-266-6

Hello, I am Sgt.Scott Wilson, with the U.S Army. I am on the move to Afghanistan from Iraq
as the last batch just left and have some items I will need to ship to you. Can you be trusted?
I will explain further when i get response from you

Thanks and God bless America.

Sgt.Scott Wilson

Anti-fraud resources: