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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 ROBERT," (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2013 03:27:15 +0530

Hello Friend,

How are you and your family? Hope all is well. My name is Sgt. Robert Cone, from the US Army currently serving in the military with the army's 3rd infantry division Peace keeping force in Kabul, Afghanistan. With a very desperate need for assistance, I have summed up courage to contact you. I found your contact through an address journal.

I have some important items that i need to ship to you, I will explain further when i get a response from you via my private e-mail id (

Sgt. Robert Cone.

Anti-fraud resources: