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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: "Mike Goldsmith." (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 21 Nov 2009 02:54:33 -0800
Subject: Final Release Of your Fund(Western Union)

Final Release Of your payment
Compensation Finance House / ATM MASTER CARD,
4989 gibson tower.

Your lottery , Compensation and ATM Card fund has been released and we have decided to send it to you instalmentally via Western Union Money Transfer, 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:

Sender's Name:Kevin Schuckman
Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN): 971-456-3781
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 $9,500 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 card:

Contact Person: Donald Smith
Phone : +44 704 572 9231

Send the below details to him

Your Full Name:
MTCN number: (as above)
Direct Telephone:
Address: (including state and zip code)
Date of Birth :
Occupation :
Nationality :

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

That is all to it. I hope to talk to you as soon as we are back on the errand
or call it project.

Mike Goldsmith.
Customer Care Unit,
England Division.
Phone : +44 704 572 9231
Sub-Fax: +1-763-647-7000

Anti-fraud resources: