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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. Lee Johnson" <>
Date: Sun, 04 Jul 2010 10:28:34 +0100
Subject: Greetings

Hi, =

I know you would be surprised to read from someone relatively unknown =
to you before. My name is Sgt. Lee Johnson, a member of the U.S. ARMY USARP=
AC Medical Team, which was deployed to Iraq in the beginning of the war in =
Iraq. I would like to share some highly personal classified information abo=
ut my personal experience and role which I played in the pursuit of my care=
er serving under the U.S 1st Armored which was at the fore-front of the war=
in Iraq. Though, I would like to hold back certain information for secur=
ity reasons for now until you have find the time to visit the BBC website s=
tated below to enable you have insight as to what I'm intending to share wi=
th you, believing that it would be of your desired interest one-way or the =
other. =

= =

Also, could you get back to me having visited the above website to ena=
ble us discuss in a more clarifying manner to the best of your understandin=
g. For more information on how we will proceed with this proposal kindly ge=
t intouch with me through:

Sgt. Lee Johnson.

Anti-fraud resources: