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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. James Steve" <>
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2011 20:45:28 +0800
Subject: PAYMENT DETAILS MTCN: # 479-414-9760

Hello My dear, how are you today hope you are fine?

I write to inform you that we have already sent you $5,200.00. United State
Dollars through Western union as we have been given the mandate to transfer
your full compensation payment the total sum of $950.000.00 ( Nine Hundred and
Fifty Thousand United State Dollars) via western union by this Government.

I was been trying to send you an E-mail since yesterday for the Western Union
payment Details but the message keep returning back I don't really know why,
therefore I try to re-send the e-mail to you again today with all the Western
Union payment information for you to pick up the money from any outlet Western
Union around you, such as MTCN and Sender Name so that you will pick up this
$5,200.00. United State Dollars to enable us send another $5,200.00. tomorrow
as you know we will be sending you only $5,200.00 United State Dollars per day.

Please copy all this information and run to any nearest Western Union to pick
up the $5,200.00. and call me back to send you another payment tomorrow, My
direct phone line is +229 99724477, Manager: Dr. Gorge Ani. E-mail: (( )) call or email me once you picked up this
$5,200.00. United State Dollars today.

Here is the Western Union information to pick up the $5,200.00. United State

MTCN :___________# 479-414-9760
Sender's Name:______ Mario Lamont
Text Question:___________trust
Amount:______________________ $5,200.00. United State Dollars

I am waiting for your call once you pick up this $5,200.00. Please E-mail me
your direct telephone number because I need to be calling you once we send any
payment for the information. Note we really need your current direct phone so
that once we make any payment we shall call you for the MTCN.

Yours In Service
Mr. James Steve
ECO Bank Benin Republic.

Anti-fraud resources: