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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: Western Union Office <>
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2010 16:59:24 -0500
Subject: Your Western Union Payment Ready For Pick Up....

Dear: Beneficiary,

How are you today?

I am writing to inform you that we have already sent you the sum of $=
5000.00USD through Western union as we have been given the mandate to=
transfer your full compensation payment totalling the sum of $800,00=
0.00USD via western union by this government. I was calling your tele=
phone number to give you the payment details but, your phone was on v=
oice mail throughout yesterday even this morning.

Now, I decided to email you the payment details so that you will pick=
up this $5000.00USD to enable us send another $5000.00USD today as y=
ou know we will be sending you only $5000.00USD per day.

Please pick up this information and run to western union to pick up t=
he money and call me back to send you another payment today. Immediat=
ely you pick-up the cash do get back to us through this infomation so=
that we can send you the next payment details.

Mr. Richard Flemming
phone line : +234 705 500 0827 =20

For Verification visit our official website, you=
will find TRACKING on the top of the site page,click on it and kindl=
y insert accordingly this details bellow:

Sender's Name: First Name: JOY SMITH =20
Text Question: who
Answer: Me
MTCN :0923711438
Country: australia
Amount To Receive: $5000

I am waiting for your call once you pick up this $5000.00USD, Please =
email me your direct telephone number because I need to be calling yo=
u once we send the next payment.

Remain Bless,
Management of Western Union

Western Union=AE Welcome to Western Union Send Money Worldwid=

Anti-fraud resources: