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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: "Mr. Robinson Ewelem" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 11 Feb 2010 13:39:51 -0800
Subject: Urgent Reply Needed

Western Union Payments

Western Union
Send Money Worldwide
Mr.Robinson Ewelem
Address; St, Peter & Paul
Road Cotonou Benin Rep.

To The Attention Of Beneficiary;

The Board of federal ministry of finance Benin Republic are hereby to notify you of your payment inheritance funds of US$800.000 after the meeting held on 15th of August 2008. His Excellence the PRESIDENT OF FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF BENIN (DR YAYI BONI) has Instructed this Department to send your funds through our Branch, OCEANIC BANK PLC western union money transfer for easy receive of your inheritance funds without any further delay to avoid paying money to the fraud stars that is going on through Courier Company.

You are required to send your name and address Where you want your fund to be send through This OCEANIC BANK PLC Western Union money Transfer.

The maximium amount you will be receiving per a day starting from tomorrow is $6000.00) and the MTCN NO# will be sent along with the Text Questions & Answers for you to receive your fund through any Western Union Location in your Country, Also you are required by this Department to send the Renewing & Reconfirming of your file charges of $98.00 dollar to help us Re-new and Re-cofirm your file that was deposited in this BANK along with your name and address below. Send the payment details to the following email address:

Beneficiarey name--------------
Tel phone----------------------------

For further procedure get back to us urgently with your information above where to start sending the money Because As soon the required fee of ($98.00) received today for the Renewing & Reconfirming the payment file of your funds you will start receiving your funds as from tomorrow.

Send the (US$98.00) dollar through western union with the name and address below:

Receiver Name/....... Oforkansi John
City/............ Cotonou
Country/............Benin Republic
Text Question/............... What Color?

Sender's Name............
MTCN No#....................

We await for your urgent email with the payment information included with your address as requested above.

Yours in service
Mr. Robinson Ewelem
Western Union Benin
Republic Manager

Anti-fraud resources: