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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: "Rev. Shedrack Edwards" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2012 03:51:31 -0700
Subject: [*****SPAM*****] VERY URGENT NOTICE

Dear Western Union Award Winner,

You have today patronized/awarded with the sum of US$35,250.00 by African Western Union Management, as one of our luck/valued customers who uses Western Union throughout your past transaction deals in Africa.

This award has been selected through our local banks, and western union agencies before indicated and approved. You're now required to pay the sum of US$37.00 Award Winning Registration Fee with your following details listed below so that your US$35,250.00 will be sent you.

1. Name________ 2. Address________ 3. Phone Number____

you should transfer the US$37.00 Award Winner Registration Fee by Western Union to below name:

Receiver ===== GODWIN NNAKE
City ======= COTONOU
Country ====== REPUBLIC OF BENIN
Question ======= Good
Answer ===== Luck
Amount ======= $37.00

As soon as the above fee and your address are received, your US$35,250.00 will be forward to you.
Call Phone +229 66 30 8638 OR Email( ) Dr.Bankole Williams as soon as you send the Award Winner Registration Fee $37.00.

Thank you for using western union money transfer in all your transfer to business to Benin.

Rev. Shedrack Edwards
Award Wining General Overseer

Anti-fraud resources: