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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. Joshua Skelton" <>
Date: Sat, 14 May 2011 14:47:45 -0400 (EDT)

-- Good Day,

I hope my email meets you well. I am in need of your assistance. My name
is Sgt. Joshua Skelton, American officer I am in the Engineering military
unit here in Ba'qubah in Iraq; we have about $23 million Dollars that we
want to move out of the country.

My partners and I need a reliable person, someone we can trust. It is oil
money and legal. We are moving it through diplomatic means, to send it to
your house directly or a bank of your choice using diplomatic courier
service. The
most important thing is that can we trust you? Once the funds get to you,
you take your 25% out and keep our own 75%.

Your own part of this deal is to find a safe place where the funds can be
sent. Our own part is sending it to you. If you are interested I will
furnish you with more details. But the whole process is simple and we must
keep a low
profile at all times.

I look forward to your reply and co-operation, and I thank you in advance.

Sincerely Yours
Sgt. Joshua Skelton

Anti-fraud resources: