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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: Phillip Cooke Pitts <>
Reply-To: Phillip Cooke Pitts <>
Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2014 20:31:56 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Call Mr Hugo Fletcher For The Release Of Your 5000 USD Payment at +229 99486199

Attn Dear Friend Good Day.

  Compliment of the season,
How are you today together with your family, I trust that everything is fine, I hope this mail meets you in a perfect condition. You may not understand why this mail came to you today. But if you do not remember me, you might have received an email from me 3 years ago regarding a Bank to Bank wire transfer proposal which we never concluded. I am using this medium to inform you that the Bank to Bank wire transfer business has been concluded with another person who financed it to a logical conclusion. I thank you for you're great effort to our unfinished transfer of funds into your account due to one reason or the other best known to you.

But I want to inform you that I have successfully transferred the fund out of the bank to my new partner's account in Qatar that was capable of assisting me in this great venture. Due to your effort, sincerity, courage and trustworthiness you showed during the course of the transaction I want to compensate you and show my gratitude to you with the sum of $1.7MILLION USD and I deposited the certified cheque with my work partner who works as manager at Western Union Office in Republic of Benin before I made my trip down here in Western Asia.

My work partner has helped me to send the first $5000 to you through Western Union Money Transfer, so contact Western Union Agent Mr. Hugo Fletcher for your payment, and I will advice you to ask the Western Union management what you need to do before they can allow you pick up the first $5000 payment today.

Contact person: Mr. Hugo Fletcher

This is the sender's full name for the first transfer they made to you ( DEBORAH ALFREDO),Ask the Western Union management to give you the MTCN (Money Transfer Control Number), Question and Answer code, to pick up the $5000 from any outlet Western Union store in your city, I instructed them to keep sending you $5000 daily till the payment of $1.7MILLION USD is completed. Again re-confirm to the Western Union management your Full Name, Telephone number and Address so that they will be sure of whom they are dealing with. For your information they can only transfer 3 parts of payments to you everyday which is $15,000.00 United States Dollars.


Full Name
Zip Code
Full Address
Contact Phone

Please try to indicate this code when contacting Western Union Management to avoid any mistake. Here is the code. (AQHKG) also use it as your subject. Remember without this Code they can't release any payment to you so ensure that you contact them with the Code and try to comply with their instruction. I am currently in Qatar to set up a project.

Please don't forget to ask the Western Union Management what you need to do to enable them validate your transfer file, because I am sure as a new customer, you are take care of administrative charge so they can process the validation of your payment file through their head Office.

Yours Sincerely
Phillip Cooke Pitt
Former MD Western Union Office Republic of Benin

Anti-fraud resources: