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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: "Frank Bell" <> (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 19 Oct 2009 00:37:37 -0700
Subject: Waiting for your urgent reply

Hello Frat,
I am a soldier serving with US Army in Iraq. I have been here from early 2002 till date. During this period I have seen heaven and hell, I have seen joy and tears but, I have not been able to see my tomorrow due to the danger we are passing through every day.
In the process of carrying out my responsibility I was able to discover some money in cash amounted to Eleven million US dollars. I have kept this cash secured and safe for investment before I will abscond and leave the service. The source of this money is on the news
At this point I am looking for a reliable and trustworthy person who can aid me to transfer this money to his country for investment and safekeeping. For this above reason I have decided to seek for your assistance as a partner to enable me reach an agreement with you to transfer and invest this fund in a profitable business in your country.
I will offer you 20% from the total fund as a reward and 5% of the fund will be set aside for contingency and expense.

Look forward hearing from you, you can reach me by this email address.
Remember to keep it confidential due to my status as a serving personal.
Yours fraternity,
Frank Bell

CONFIDENTIALITY: If this email has been sent to you by mistake, please notify the sender and delete it immediately. As it may contain confidential information, the retention or dissemination of its contents may be an offence under the Official Secrets Act.

Anti-fraud resources: