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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 Pay-out Gold card." <>
Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2011 10:20:37 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Gold Card Visa debit cards are accepted 3,000.00.Per-day-

Attention Please.  

I am Ganesh Amoorthy. I am auditor General of Western Union, Benin Republic, I have only been recently appointed and transferred from Benin Republic. On commencement of my duties here, I discovered a pending transfer of US$500,000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand United States dollars) in the system, but now, we have decided to send you your fund by western union gold card.

I promptly informed the Benin Republic Government and it was agreed that the funds be refunded to either the Sender or the initial Receiver. I intend to input your name as the initial Receiver on the western union gold card. I am contacting you to come across with names which you could use to withdraw 3,000.00.per day on your western union gold card, until money is cleared from the system. It is very important that you respond urgently. In case you are wondering, I got your email off an internet index. Please Visit the

Your Card Number is: 4146650304178790 use it in the 1st time Signing in and clicks proceed to verify the transfer . In addition to the initial activation you will receive your PIN and your Western Union Gold Card when the following fees are paid . Your Western Union Gold Card can be used for cash withdrawals anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted 3,000.00.per day, even online transfe ! or just hand it to the Western Union Agent clerk to Withdraw cash for you. the proof is that you have to go into our website and track your card number.

Below is the fee that you have to pay before the pin number can be release to you.

1. Transaction Fee for purchases with WU Gold Card : $ 10.00
2. Account Administrative Adjustment Fee : $ 5.00
3. Western Union Load fee: $ 5.00
4. First PIN selection Activation fee: $ 7.00
5. Priority Shipping Fee: $ 10.00
6. Total Amount---------: $32.

You are advice to send the fee with the below details by western union or Money Gram only: Payment should be made via western union or money gram only.

3. CITY... COTONOU .Add : 11 Missebo cotonou 2 Cotonou -Benin.
5. TEXT QUESTION... what colure TEXT ANSWER... white
7.Amount …$32
Forward the MTCN NUMBER xxx xxx xxx x. senders name and your postal

We assure you that your WESTERN UNION ATM GOLD CARD AND ALL THE NEEDED INFORMATION will reach you immediately we receive the complete requirement needed from you. The government has permited me to ensure that all western union gold card must be transferred in the next 24 hours to the receiver. Please email us back at Email:

Please send me the following information;

Waiting to hear from you soon.

Best regards,
Ganesh Amoorthy

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