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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: ANTONACI Michele <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 2014 14:22:52 +0100
Subject: Re: Responce (Reminder)


Dear Western Union Beneficiary,


We wish to inform you that the United Nations (UN) has authorized us to rem=
it to you a total amount of $500,000.00, (Five Hundred Thousand United Stat=
es Dollars).
Your Cash prize was paid out to us by the United Nations, and they have su=
ccessfully succeeded in depositing your whole funds with us Here at Western=
Union Italy.

They have now ordered us to take full responsibility in the transfer proces=
s of your funds and thus commence the immediate remittance of your funds to=

Be duly informed that because of our Western Union transfer policy, your fu=
nds will be paid to you via our Western Union Daily Transfer limit of $5,60=
0.00 USD. This means that you will Continuously receive a daily amount of $=
5,600.00 USD, and this amount Can be collected from any of our numerous Wes=
tern Union outlets in your current location.

To begin the claim process of your daily payment as stated above, you are r=
equire to provide us with the following;

Your Full Name:
Phone Number:

Upon the receipt of the above mentioned details, your first transaction wil=
l be activated and we shall then Proceed to provide you with the Money Tran=
sfer Control Number (MTCN) for the First installment and we will continue t=
o email you others after 12 hours of Receiving each payment.
For more information on your payment status;

Contact Person
ANTONACI Michele For
BIANCO Fernando
OR call our 24 hours Helpline @ +39 3661959222 for any inquiries on the ab=
ove message.
Yours truly,
Angelo Facci
For: Western Union Italy.
WESTERN UNION... Over 380,000 Outlets Worldwide

Anti-fraud resources: