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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: John Tony <>
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2012 22:44:04 +0100 (BST)
Subject: THE MTCN :# 5820554539

Dear FriendI'm writing to inform you that we have already sent your first payment of USD5000.00 dollars to your address this evening, through Western union as we have been given the mandate to transfer your full compensation payment total sum of (USD$1.4million) via western union by the Authorities of IMF/SENATORS COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN PAYMENT.Meanwhile, The first transfer of $5,000 was sent to you and I have listed the MTCN and sender's name so that you can pick up this USD5000.00 to enable us send another USD5, 000.Tomorrow as you know we will be sending you only USD5000.00 per day. Please note that the transfer charge of $5,000 is USD$72, so contact  Dr Peter Timo, the director of western union payment department in Republic of Benin with the fee to enable him release the secret code for you to pick up your payment from western union of your country because the already transferred USD$5,000. Was placed on hold due to the activation Fee of USD$72 and
call him immediately you sent email to him.Contact Him Via his direct phone line is: +22968133317.Director Name; Dr Peter TimoEmail:( to email me once you pick up your money ok. Here are the western union payment details to pick up the USD5, 000 once you send the activation Fee then he will tell you to go any western union and pick up your fund.Payment Information.MTCN: _______________(MTCN) :# 5820554539Sender's Name: _________Samson NwamuText Question: __________transferAnswer: _______________ImmediatelyAmount Sent___________$5000.00USDCountry: _______________Republic of BeninI will be waiting to hear from you once you pick up this USD5,000,Try your best and follow up the western union in instruction by sending $72 USD so that there will give you the information to pick up your first $5,000 USD.send them the fee to this information below:Receiver Name:....Mbanefo JosephText Question:....transferAnswer:
........Immediatelycountry:.....Republic of Benincity:........CotonouCountry Code:+229Amount:.....$72 USDThanks you very much for your co-operation:Mr  John Tony.(Supervisor Western Union Republic of Benin)Regulated by the Delivery Services Authority

Anti-fraud resources: