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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:

Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2011 20:49:15 +0100 (BST)
Subject: PAYMENT Approval Details MTCN.

Vital Finance Institution
Address:Rue 225 Akpaka Express Road ,
Porto-Novo layout  Benin.
Phone  00229-9971-3991
Fax: 00229 991594700
Attention: My Dear Customers
This is to notify you about the latest development concerning all the payment that are left in our custody which yours are inclusive,besides your were given a bill of $150, in order to receive your payment of which we didn’t hear from you for sometime now. Hence, our western union Head office is now offering a Special BONUS to help all our customers that are having their payment in our custody due to price. In order words we are now requesting that those involve should pay only the sum of $55. 00 to receive all their payment abandoned in our
Besides my dear, this is the opportunity for you to comply and have your funds transfer to your designated address.Note that after (3 DAYS) you did not make the payment then we will divert your funds to Government Treasury,or we will cancel the payment for this year because this year is not like last year. Again after (THREE DAYS ) We will enter A new project  for the year and that is the reason why we decided to help  all our customers before we enter into the new project.
Be advised to send the $55.00 immediately to enable us register your payment and for you to start receiving your $5000 as from tomorrow. Be advise that there is no time again for we to call any person on phone unless you After the payment of  $55.00 you will start receiving your money every day $5000 through western union until your total fund of $900,000.00usd is completely transferred to you.But if like to call me use this only this number 00229-9971-3991 ok
Send the $55 through western union Transfer with the information below,
Receiver's Name===== SAMUEL ONWUJEKWE.
Country===== =======Benin Republic.
Text Question=====Once?
Answer== ========For all.
Sender Name=====?
Mtcn Number=====?
Sender address====?
Sender Tel:======?
The moment we receive the payment of $55 we will release the first
payment information of $5000. to you for your pick up, We look forward
hearing from you soon. Contact me with this Email:
Mr.John West.
Foreign Operation Manager.

Anti-fraud resources: