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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: "Col.Richard Atwater" <>
Date: Mon, 07 Feb 2011 06:10:32 +0000
Subject: Assist me out of Iraq.

Attn : My Friend
With a very desperate need for assistance, I have summed up courage to
contact you. I am from (will disclose this later), presently working in
Iraq with an international organization that I will also disclose
later, I found your contact particulars in an address journal. I am
seeking your assistance to evacuate the sum of (US$9.4 Million Dollars)
Nine Million Four Hundred Thousand Dollars to your country
or any other safe country of your choice, as far as I can be assured that
my share will be safe in your care untill I complete my service here,this
is no stolen money, and there are no dangers involved.

Some money in various currencies was discovered concealed in barrels
with piles of weapons and ammunition's at a location near one of
Saddam,s old palaces during a rescue operation, and it was agreed by all
party present that the money be shared amongst us, this was quite an
illegal thing to do, but I tell you what? no compensation can make up for
the risks we have taken with our lives in this hell hole.
The above figure was given to me as my share, and to conceal this kind
of money became a problem for me, so with the help of a German contact
working here, and his office enjoys some immunity, I was able to get
the package out to a safe cation entirely out of trouble spot. He does
not know the real contents of the package, and believes that it belongs
to an Asian/American who died in an air raid, and before giving up,
trusted me to hand over the package to his business associate. I have
now found a secured way of getting the package out to a safer country for
you to pick up, and will discuss this with you when I am sure that you are
willing to assist me. One passionate appeal I will make to you is not to
discuss this matter with a third party, should you have reasons to reject
this offer, please destroy this mail as any leakage of this information
will be too bad for us.
I do not know for how long we will remain here, and I have survived 2
suicide bomb attacks by the special grace of God, this and other
I will mention later has prompted me to reach out for help, I honestly
want this matter to be resolved immediately. Please contact me as
soon as possible on this e-mail for security reason,

Richard Atwater

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