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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: Tommy Peacock <>
Reply-To: "Tommy Peacock" <>
Date: Sun, 14 Sep 2008 06:58:18 EEST

I am just dropping by on this kinkos store to email you and let you know that I have just sent the payment via Western Union in your name as I do not have your account details correctly.

I also want you to have the payment information below:
Money Transfer Control Number
(MTCN): 947-281-5084
Amount Sent: $187,000 USD
Text Question: Favourite Colour?
Answer: White

You can go to any Western Union location right now and pick up the cash quick. I hope that you have a Western Union card / Promo code? You will need this to send or claim amount above $12,000 USD from any Western Union agent location. My company will be sending my team to Chile this week. I am already on my way to join my team in completing the unfinished bridge construction project in Chile.

We may leave town tomorrow and I couldn't go without dropping the payment information with you. We may spend 2 to 3 months there before the job would be completely finished. Remember that if you do not claim the money before 9 days, they will call back the money to my card. And if you do not have the Western Union Promo/Card, you cannot pick up the cash. I may not be around to reply any of your emails now, but I will talk to you as soon as I return. If you do not have a Western Union Promo Code, you may contact the western union agent details below so that they will provide a Western Union card/Promo Card for you immediately and also send you a copy of the voucher of the payment that I made, via email.

Contact the office below for your Western Union Promo code/card:
Contact Person: Bill Anthony

Send the below details to himYour Full Name:
MTCN number: (as above)
Address: (including state and zip code)

As soon as the office gets the above information, they will use the credentials to create your Western Union Promo code right away without any delay. That is all to it. I hope to talk to you as soon as we are back on the errand or call it project.

Tommy Peacock
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Anti-fraud resources: