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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: "Mike Obiri" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 2014 06:38:32 -0800
Subject: Your $5.000.00 payment is ready for pick up by you

This is to inform you that we have been waiting for you to contact me about your payment of (US$800,000.00 ) in an ATM payment card, note that we have programmed funds to be transferred under installmentaly at the rate of$5,000.00 daily as Western Union laws here in Nigeria does not allow the transfer of funds above $5,000.00 at once from this country to another, but we will be sending your funds under installment of $5,000.00 daily till the amount of $800.000.00 usd is completely Paid to you as the beneficiary of the ATM card in questioned.
In other words, We have today transferred your first installment payment ($5,000.00) available for your pickup at any western union office nearest to you, but still on hold due to the unpaid endorsement & daily activation file fee amount of $95 that you are supposed to pay before your daily transfer will be made available to you. You will pick up the installment at any western union office nearest to you with the below information's as soon as you submit the $95 endorsement & daily activation file fee. Once the activation is made , you can track your first installment payment with the Western Union tracking number 1-800-325-6000 or through the western union global website so as for you to know that the money is available for pick up (but will not be released you without the file activation fee).
Payment information
Direct Line: 23414173201 Name: Mr Mike Obiri.
Here is the information to pick up the first $5,000.00;
MTCN: 2611-383-012
Sender's Name: Oke Prince,
Text Question: In God?
Answer: We Trust
Amount: US$5,000.00
The endorsement & daily activation file fee of $95 should be sent to our office here in care to our accounting officer through Western Union Money Transfer nearest to you.
You are to send the endorsement activation charges with the information below.
1.Receiver Name:.......Frank Omoruyi
3.City :.........Lagos.
4..Test Question:....Color
5.Test Answer:......Red
Amount $95
As soon as you send the fee, send us the transfer Mtcn/Reference # to help us proceed with immediate transfer activation of your first installment payment.
Notice: This preference is being given to you to our good name and also to make sure we get your fund paid to you with no further complication of things or delay.
Note: the Activation Fees could not be deducted from the ATM card here, as we have no access to the fund due to the Fact that it was placed in an ATM card and not cash at hand.
Treat As Urgent and get back to this office with receipt of your payment for fast procedures here.
I am waiting for your call once you pick up this $5,000.00, and email me your direct telephone number because I need to be calling you once we send another payment.
Accept our congratulations.
Mr Mike Obiri
Western Union Head Office Lagos

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