fighting spam and scams on the Internet
Try our spam filter!
Free trial for 30 days

About Us

"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.

Click here to report a problem with this page.



Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:

Fraud email example:

From: "Western Union Money Transfer®" <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 22 Oct 2011 08:18:14 -0500
Subject: Re: Payment Notification From Western Union Money Transfer®

Western Union Money Transfer®
Moving money for better..Send Money Worldwide.

Dear customer,

This is to inform you that the Lottery and Gaming Board has employed our services to transfer your winning sum of US$550,000 [Five Hundred & Fifty Thousand Dollars Only]in your name. This is in a bid to encourage online draws worldwide and internet usage. Your email address won you this prize.

The board has appointed Western Union Money Transfer to transfer your Winnings through our electronic system for the ease of your pickup.

They submitted your name, city and country to our office for a daily activation of your payment which has been programmed to be transferred in daily installments of $5,500 [Five Thousand, Five Hundred Dollars only] until you have received your total winning sum of US$550,000.

Your first transfer is available for your pickup but a hold has been put on the transfer until our confirmation of your activation fee of $550 that you have been mandated to pay before the hold is removed on your initial transfer.

Track your first installment payment online our website for confirmation:

Sender's First Name: Prince
Sender's Last Name: Ogbonna
Money Transfer Control Number: 6640576456
Amount Programmed: $5,500

To update our Activation Portal, we request you reconfirm the following:

Receiver's Name: _____________
Receiver's Address: #_______________
Receiver's Telephone Number: +______________

Send the activation fee of $550 through our front desk agent with the information provided:

Receiver's Name: Jacob Wilson

City & Country: Abuja - Nigeria

Amount To Send: $550

Text Question: A

Text Answer: B

For additional information, contact Head of Department - Mrs. Laura Marsden.
All email enquiries should be sent to:


Send a copy of the payment slip issued to you at the western union outlet for confirmation of your payment.

Upon the confirmation of your Activation Fee, we shall activate your transfer within 1 hour of the confirmation of your payment.


Western Union Money Transfer®

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Help | Consumer Protection | Investor Relations | Careers | Western Union Foundation | Become an Agent | Intellectual Property | Privacy Policy | State Licensing | File a Complaint | Terms & Conditions | Site Map

©2001-2011 Western Union Holdings Inc. All Rights Reserved

Anti-fraud resources: