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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: Western Union <>
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2012 02:57:51 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Winner Payment Alert!

Attn: Valued Customer,

Due to your failure in sending the required western union Transfer handling charges, an executive emergency meeting was held yesterday in a way to resolve this problem and to ensure you start receiving your payment, at the end of the meeting, the head of international remittance was mandated to set up Western union account in your name and paid in the overall inheritance of US$1,500,000.00 and as well release the MTCN for your first installment of $5000.00.

To avoid reoccurrence of the past experience, an agreement was signed between the ministry and the Western Union board of directors that beneficiaries should not be charge for western union transfer cost but rather all beneficiaries should show commitment on their part as indication of their wiliness to receive their entitlement, in view of this agreement, you are required to send $70.00 USD as commitment charges, this will enable them activate your MTCN for your first installment.


That is the reason for this notification, you advised to contact our cashier payment unit in reference to this order on ( contact person is Mrs. Sandy Miler. For an instruction on how to send the commitment charges and as well activating the MTCN of your first installment of US$5000.00 to pick up.


Mr. Matthew Perdro. 
Western Union Office
Send Money Worldwide
WesternUnion payment alert

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