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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: "Western Union" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2018 01:13:20 -0800

Dear Valued Customer,
The Joint Management Board of Western Union/MoneyGram is pleased to inform you of the results from our just concluded Western Union/MoneyGram Joint Christmas Promo draws, which was categorized. The draws were conducted from an exclusive list of over 450,000,000 details of individual email addresses.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: No lottery ticket was sold in this lottery; data of qualified persons were collated from all WU/MoneyGram agents around the world as well as Global Business Directories. Your winning Reference Number is: WUMG/9354.12/HQ and Batch No: WM-760002616. This award promo is part of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), a way to appreciate acceptance of WU/MG over the years.
After the automated computerized ballot, we are pleased to inform you that you emerged as one of the 50 lucky winners in the 3rd category. You are to receive a cash prize of US$850,000.00 (Eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand United States Dollars) only which shall be wired into your account, or paid to you via certified bank check. Your winning is covered under an insurance bond policy and would be paid to you by our appointed paying agent.
So contact Mutual Benefit Assurance Company for processing and payment of your winning. Heres the contact detail:
Mr. John Innocent
Lottery Claim Payment Officer
Mutual Benefits Assurance Company
Your winning Reference Number is: WUMG/9354.12/PLA and Batch No: WM-760002611. Ensure to provide this information for authentication otherwise no attention will be given to your mail.
Accept our congratulations and happy Christmas in advance.
Ms. Lynda Churchill
Joint Global Promo Officer
Western Union/Moneygram

Anti-fraud resources: