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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: david nelson <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 25 Mar 2009 02:33:34 +0000

From: Cpl. David Nelson
U.S. Military Base
Tikrit - Iraq.
My name is Cpl. David Nelson, a United States soldier currently serving in the military of the 1st Armoured Division in Iraq, our story is a very pathetic one and I apologize for taking your time. As you may know, we are being attacked by insurgents everyday and painfully, most of my colleagues have lost their lives here especially in car bombs.
Recently, while going on a regular patrol check, I and my colleague who is also a United States soldier discovered an abandoned trunk box hidden in an exit tunnel from late Saddam Hussein's family mansion. Opening the box carefully,which we initially thought was a bomb, we discovered that it contained the sum of US$11.5 Million in cash, mostly in 100 dollar bills.
Seeing this, we moved the trunk box containing the fund totaling US$11.5 Million to our base from where we were able to deposit it in a private Security/Courier company that has shipping diplomatic immunity here in Iraq and under the cover as medical and photographic equipments.
Presently Iraq is engulfed in serious crisis and as this crisis is intensified by the day, I and my colleague have decided to make this business proposal to you knowing that as military men, our lives are in constant danger, we leave our base each day not knowing if we will come back alive
I am therefore soliciting for your co-operation to take delivery of this fund into your custody for any profitable investment that will be mutually beneficial for us and from the profit; we will also assist families of war victims and orphanages worldwide.
I will send to you the issued deposit document for the box which was registered in my name as evidence of the deposit and change of ownership documents that will empower you and to ensure smooth movement of this fund from the security company until you are in control of it.
Please let me know if you are interested by return email and also include your full names, address and contact telephone and fax numbers to enable me call you.
I will provide you with necessary details and the arrangements to secure the deposit as soon as you indicate appreciable interest. Thank you and do not cease in Praying for us.
Cpl. David Nelson
U.S.A. Military Base, Iraq.

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