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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 Money Transfer <>
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2012 19:18:05 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Attention: E-mail Address Owner

Welcome to Western Union
Send Money Worldwide
Tel/ +229-9875-6677

Attention: E-mail Address Owner


Complement of the season to you and your beloved family. The International
Monetary Fund (IMF) is compensating all the recent scam victims and your
email address was found in the scam victim's list. This Western Union
office has been mandated by the IMF to transfer your compensation to you
via Western Union Money Transfer.

However, we have successfully concluded all the arrangements to effect
your  payment through Western Union Money Transfer. We have scheduled your
payment to be completed by sending you $5,000 twice daily until the total
sum of $1,000,000.00 is completely transferred to you.

Notwithstanding, we can not be able to send the payment with your email
address alone, thereby we need your information as to where we will be
sending the funds, such as;

Receiver's name:................(Full Name)
Phone number:........................
Contact the director via email at ( with your
full information.

Note that your payment files will be returned to the IMF if we did not
hear from you, this was the instruction given to us by the IMF. We will
start the transfer as soon as we received your information. For urgent
inquiry about your daily payment, call the director on  +229-9875-6677


Mr. Mark James
Director Western Union Money Transfer,
Head Office Benin Republic.
Tel; +229-9875-6677


This email is intended for the owner of this E-mail Address only and
contains privileged and confidential information. If you received this
email by error, please delete it from your mail box and notify us
immediately for correction. The disclosure of this email to a third party
is highly prohibited. Thanks for your understanding.

Anti-fraud resources: