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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: "JACK SMITH" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2011 14:51:38 +0100

Dear Friend,

I wish to use this medium to honestly solicit for your help. My name is JACK SMITH an America Soldier in Iraq. Please I need your help in keeping and securing my two trunks boxes which I discovered here in Iraq. The trunks contain cash total amount is $20.4M US Dollars. Please contact me back through this email: ( for security reason and more information, if you are interested.

Best Regards.

Anti-fraud resources: