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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: =?utf-8?B?V2VzdGVybiBVbmlvbsKu?= <>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2010 16:44:25 -0800 (PST)
Subject: From Western Union Money Transfer

Western Union payment
Western Union®
Welcome to Western Union
Send Money Worldwide

Good day;

I wish to inform you that your outstanding debt has been scheduled for immediate payment to you Via Western Union Money Transfer . You are to contact Western Union for your payment of USD$1,500.000.00 USD with the below information’s.

FULL NAME:......................
CONTACT ADDRESS:................
DIRECT PHONE/CELL NUMBER……………….   (for easy communication)

Send the above listed information’s to the Fund Verification Department Office on the information below:

Contact Person: Mrs.Rosemary Geoffrey
Mobile:  +229 9873 5986
E-mail: ( )

As soon as this information is received and you have complied with the requirements of payment of the western union charges your payment will be made to your nominated bank account or at the counter directly from The Western Union Transfering Bank.While emailing kindly use reference number 250-153 for our mutual convenience.I will advise that you call Mrs.Rosemary on her phone (+229 9873 5986) on receipt of this mail to facilitate your transfer.

Best Regards
Mr.Leo Harrison.
Western Union Money Transfer®
Western Union® welcoming you to our World
Send and Receive Money Worldwide.

Anti-fraud resources: