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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: "Mrs. Amanda Alex" <>
Date: Sun, 13 Nov 2011 03:54:50 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: From Western Union Money Transfer

>From Western Union Money Transfer
Attention To You Personally:
Are you ready to pick up this $5,000.00 sent today? We have concluded to
effect your payment through western union $5,000.00 daily until the total sum
of $1.2 Million is completely transferred. Meanwhile, Our Office has western
union $5,000.00 in your name today. So contact Western union Agent to pick up
this $5000 now
1. Western union Agent: Dr. Herbert Edward.
2. E-mail:  OR
3. E-mail:
4. Tel:  +229 96919599
Ask him to give you the MTCN, sender name, question and answer to pick the
$5,000.00. Also you should send to him your information’s as below
Your full name...........
Your full address..... ..
Your Phone number......
Contact Herbert Edward on and do called him
+22996919599 and let him know that you have sent your information to him via  and you are waiting for the MTCN and others payment detail for pick up.
Mrs. Amanda Alex

Anti-fraud resources: