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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: Funds Transfer Section <>
Reply-To: Funds Transfer Section <>
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 2015 19:34:12 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Thank you for your patronage

VITAL FINANCE Adjara Dokodji
Porto Novo, Cotonou Benin.
Send SMS text at (320) 204-0060 or call  +229-989-653-77 
for more Details and directives.

Thank you for your patronage and for using western Union Money Transfer to send money, we are so happy to have a customer like you. For using western union, you details were put to the Ballot box for the ongoing 2015 Western Union Money Transfer Beginning of the Year Bonanza Draw. You have won your self $500,000.00 US Dollars. This funds will be given to you through our office Western Union Payment Department Office, Minnesota, USA or any Western union location within your area. Your winnings sum will be paid to you instalment with sums of $7000.00 US Dollars which will be sent to you in every Seven Hours (7hours) in 2 MTCN until the funds is completely paid to you The Following is the Western Union Money Control Number for your First payment of $7000.00: 1920409393

Payment information
Money Transfer Control Number (M.T.C.N): (312-5850-067)
Sender?s Name: THOMA TERRY
Text Question: Sport?
Answer: Golf

Note that the above has not been activated for you to pick up because your name has not been activated to it. To enable us activate your payment immediately you would be required to pay a small activation charge of $155 Dollars. Please be informed that this charge can not be deducted from your account because it’s bonded and has been programmed till your final payment. Send the US$155 Dollars payment information to our Western Union payment agent below as soon as it's done. Upon the receipt of the US$155.00, your programmed transaction will be activated and we would allow you to start receiving your winnings in US$7000.00 instalments.

The Receivers Information For The US$155 is as follows:

Receivers Name: Sarah Ndubuisi
Country Benin
City Cotonou
Text Question: Present Year
Answer: 2015
Amount to be sent: US$155

Immediately he receives the payment, our Western Union payment Department shall activate your programmed transaction to enable you receive your first instalment payment of $7000.00 immediately from the total Funds $500,000.00. Please Note: this control number (3125850067) should be kept very safe and secret for your own security, to avoid someone else tempering with you funds. Send SMS text at (320) 204-0060 or call  +229-989-653-77 for more Details and directives.

We congratulate you in Advance.
Winnings Claims Bonanza Department
Western Union Money Transfer Office.

Anti-fraud resources: