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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: "Marine Corps." (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 8 May 2021 09:35:42 +0100
Subject: Hey!!

I am a widower and an USMC on a special redeployment in Asia. I am looking for a good looking and intelligent woman for a relationship. Or a man who can accept to take custody for me an amount being proceed of a raid we carried out on one of the terrorist strongholds here. If you are the one mail me back with your picture enclosed. All communication must be through an end to end encrypted means. So it is important that you must have whatsapp for easy communication. And I assure you too that your privacy will be protected too.
I got your email contact through an opt-in consumer directory.
I expect your response.
A Sgt. USA
Marine Corps.

Anti-fraud resources: