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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: Ahmed Dawoud <>
Date: Fri, 09 Aug 2013 08:19:40 +0100
Subject: From Ahmed in Syria, please help me

My Dear Friend,


I am Ahmed Dawoud (Egyptian) living in Homs, Syria. I lost my parents,
two sisters, and relations with our family assets/house during the
recent war in Syria. I was just lucky to be alive after participating
in the protest. The civil war in Syria is growing more apparent as the
conflict steadily intensifies between the Alawite-dominated regime of
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the mainly Sunni rebel Free
Syrian Army. At the start of the rebellion before this tragedy, my
late father who was a businessman who dealt on GOLD & DIAMONDS and
made good savings from his business, withdrew all his money from the
bank and packaged it in a box labeled as GOLD & DIAMOND but concealed
in it is the sum of USD12 million in cash. The box was safely moved
out of Syria with the help of a Diplomat, for safety of the funds due
to the rebellion against the government as he was an anti-Bashar
al-Assad and supported the protesters. He did not want Bashar al-Assad
barbaric government to seize his funds at the bank.

I seek your urgent cooperation to take delivery and keep safe the
box/funds and assist me relocate to your country as i am presently
stranded here and have no access to it. Presently I have receive email
from the diplomat confirming he has safely moved the box away and
deposited it safely at a diplomatic courier warehouse abroad. I am
writing you to assist me receive this box in your country, and keep
safely for me until I am able to relocate from here. You have my
permission/authority to collect 20% of the funds on receiving it, for
your timely assistance. Please indicate your readiness to assist me
immediately so that all the information about this box will be passed
to you immediately. Send to me immediately the following information;
1. your names, contact address, and telephone numbers. 2. Date of
birth, occupation, sex, marital status and identification copy for
documentation purposes. As soon as I receive your reply mail I shall
forward your information to the diplomatic courier company abroad to
contact you for the delivery of the box to you as my proxy. I shall
send you the Power of Attorney to present to the diplomatic courier
company so that they can release the box to you. Please help me and
reply me immediately you receive this mail via my email:

Your friend in need,
Ahmed Dawoud

Anti-fraud resources: