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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: "Patterson Jessica William" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2012 19:45:58 +0800

Hi, My Friend

I am Patterson Jessica William, an officer of the U.S Army. I am writing you this email from Kabul, Afghanistan as the last batch of our officer (female) that left Iraq. I have some money I will need you to help me receive. I am in possession of documents worth $10.7M. I was among US soldiers that found some stash of money around the hood of the Iraqi dead dictator when we were first deployed in Iraq.
Although our officers returned money to the US army which was subsequently returned to the Iraqi treasury; but we weren't stupid to give in all the money. Though I am scary telling you about this on email. But the one question is, Can you be trusted?

For clarity of what Im talking about, check this news link below;

So I need someone that is not related to me, to help me pull this cash out, everything is ready, I just need someone I can trust because we have lost a money last year to someone that said he will help us last time and I won't like to make the same mistake.

If you can handle this deal let me know immediately, you will receive 20% of the money and you don't have to pay me any money, all you need to do is to find a safe account where you can keep the money till I finish my duty here. . Get back to me immediately with this email Id

Patterson J. William

Anti-fraud resources: