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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:

Date: Sun, 21 Jun 2015 08:33:02 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Urgent Release Of Your Payment

>From Office of the Western Union Money Transfer
33, Yatch Basin Marina Office,Cotonou,Benin Republic
Phone Number 00229 95132784

Attention Dear Customer

Information reaching us from our corporate headquarter now stating that you have only 48 hours to effect payment for the activation of your MTCN control number to enable you cash up your first payment of $5,000.00 from your total fund of $usd850,000,000.00 since you are finding it difficult to make our required charge.

We have decided that you are to go ahead and pay whatever you have for the activation fee since you are not able to come up with the required amount because time is of essence here,you are to pay any amount you have from the minimum of $40 as the activation fee and we will activate your MTCN upon the receipt of this payment.

Be informed that you will have to pay the balance sum of your activation after cashing up your first payment of $5,000.00 from Western Union,also I am using this medium to inform you that failure to pay the balance will leave us with no option but to deactivate your payment of which you will and can never cash up your payment because your file will be confiscated.

Kindly let me know whatever you have at hand from the minimum of $40 so that I can give you information where to send it,as soon as we receive the money from you we will activate your first payment for you to pick up today and not tomorrow.

Please be honest with how much you have at hand starting from $usd40 because we just decided to assist you so you can receive your long awaited payment.

Reconfirm your receiver details bellow

Your Full Name:
Cell Phone:

Best Regards
From Mrs Katherine Dennis
New Manager Western Union Office Benin

Anti-fraud resources: