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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: "Rtd. Lt. Col. James Waldegg" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2012 08:25:19 -0600
Subject: >Re: Special Greetings From Rtd. Lt. Col. James Waldegg


I'm James Waldegg, a retired Lt. Colonel of the US Air Force(USAF), and a philanthropist with a target at charity. In 2007 I won the Donor of the year because of my numerous donations made to charity.
Though, charity is my utmost goal but at this point of my life, when it seems I cannot continue distribution, I wish to entrust the last of my fund ($7.5million US) to a good and God fearing individual whom will help me distribute the fund to people needing help around the world.
Before we proceed, I will be most glad if you can tell me a little about yourself.

Rtd. Lt. Col. James Waldegg
My Private Email:

Anti-fraud resources: