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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: "DR.JOHN BOOMA" <>
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2014 11:29:37 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: PICK UP YOUR MTCN: 5465273153

Good Day,

Western Union wish to inform to you that United Nation and (ECOWAS) have
instructed us to send to you the sum of $1.5 million USD. $5,000 has already
been sent to you as first collection Sender Information's HERE IS THE
Available MTCN for pick up by receiver below;

Sender First Name: Curtis
Sender Last Name: Swanson
MTCN: 5465273153
Test Question: How Long?
Test Answer: 24 Hours
Amount: $5000.00 USD

Go to any western union location and pick up the funds with the
information given to you.

You can track at our website
before going to pick it up.
Email( )
+229 98761125
Dr.John Booma

Anti-fraud resources: