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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: Larry Morris <>
Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2012 01:19:11 +0800 (CST)
Subject: GOOD NEWS, THIS IS FOR YOU {MTCN#: 8621556006}


01 BP 955,308, rue Révérend Père Colineau, Zone Commerciale Ganhi
Telephone: +22996422292 

Send Money Worldwide

Dear Sir,

I am Mr. Larry Morris, the newly verification officer appointed to look into cases of Foreigners payment and it's my pleasure to inform you we have finally sent your first payment $5000 US dollars since today as we have been given mandate to transfer your compensation payment total sum of $1,500,000.00 dollars (US$1.5m) according to the instructions from Ministry of Finance Benin. Right now your first payment $5000 is available to pickup at any western union outlet in your location.

For your convenience, check your first transfer online at:  click TRACKING and fill the below information on the space provided at western union website to confirm this payment immediately.

Money Transfer Control Number {MTCN#: 8621556006}
Sender First Name: Peter
Sender Last Name: Mark

I don't know why you refused to pick my calls. Anyway, this payment is available for pick up by receiver right now but just this morning, we unfortunately received an urgent notification from the Board of Inland Revenue that, through their Monitoring Security Network (MSN), they dictated the transfer and found that the account to it is dormant, therefore was placed ON-HOLD due to inactivation of this account. By this measure, they are requesting for a payment of $159.00 before the release could be effected. It is on this ground that, we in-turn, decided to inform you about this so that, you will send the fee for the activation to enable them release this hold for us to complete the transfer immediately which you will pick up this $5000.00 as soon as it has been released.

Note: that your 1st payment has already been programmed and it will be release to you within 1-2hours today. Please supply the following information asap.

Receiver's Name:.............
Test Question:........?
Your directly telephone number:..............

So I will advice you to go now to the Western Union office or Bank close to you and send the activation fee to below name and address as requested by the Inland Revenue as below:
Receiver's Name:........PETER ANI
City, Country:....Cotonou, Benin Republic,
Text Question: When?
Answer: Now
Amount: $159.00 only.
Sender's Name;........
As soon as we receive the activation fee,  I will activate your daily installment account and post your first $5,000 USD for you to pick it up today.
You can equally call me +22996422292 for further clarification on this.

Yours faithfully,

Mr. Larry Morris
Managing Director
Western Union Foreign Operation
Telephone: +229-9642-2292 
© 2010 Western Union International. All Rights Reserved.
This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. Internet communications are not secured and therefore Western Union International does not accept any legal responsibility for the contents of this message. If you have received this email in error please notify us immediately. This message contains confidential information and is intended only for the individual named. If you are not the named addressee you should not disseminate, distribute or copy this e-mail

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