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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: "John R.Allen" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2013 01:10:32 -0600

Hello Friend

I am Leut Col. John R.Allen, commanding the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines Regiment(3/8) in
Afghanistan. At this moment I want you to hold this top secret while helping me to secure the sum
of Three Million dollars (Usd.3M) in which I recovered on our patrol in Garmis District, Helmand
Province of Afghanistan.I will be oblige to give full details upon the receipt of your reply to my
email.I have used my contact as a senior army officer to sent the above mentioned amount of money
out of the country to an un-disclosed location through a diplomatic immunity covered that shall be
reveal to you later.

I am expecting to get the funds out immediately to a safe hand so as to commit
it to an investment channel since i am working under military directives which do not allow me to
engage in any transfer process properly. Kindly indicate your interest in securing this funds so
that i can relay more information regarding this me back via this
email:( Anticipating your response.


Leut Col. John R.Allen

Anti-fraud resources: