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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: "Officefile" <>
Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2011 01:51:02 -0400
Subject: Your Western Union=?ISO-8859-1?Q?=AE_payment?=

Your Western Union® payment

Attention: Beneficiary,

Your compensation cheque of ($1.9 million USD) has been forwarded to the
Western Union for immediate transfer to you,Are you ready to pick up
this($5,000 USD) sent today? We have concluded to effect your payment through
western union money transfer maximum is ($5,000 USD) per day until the
($1.9million USD) is completely transferred to you.

Meanwhile, Mr. Edward Bobo has sent the sum of ($5,000 USD) in your name
this morning, So, please contact Western union agent to pick up the ($5,000
USD) immediately.

Below are the contact information of the western union agent
Name--- Mr. Edward Bobo
Tel------ +229 99842099

Ask him to give you the MTCN, sender's name, text question and answer to pick
up the ($5,000 USD). Also you should re-confirm to him your following
information below for another transfer. You are to send email or call the
payment manager on his mobile number immediately you receive this email for
urgent attention.

Note that you are to re-confirm your information below such as:
Your Full Name:....................
Your Home Address:...................
Your Direct telephone number:........
A Copy of your International Passport.....
Your immediate Occupation............

Best Regards,
Mrs Agnes Cole

Anti-fraud resources: