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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: "Mr. James Steve" <>
Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2018 01:59:16 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Attention: Please

Western Union Money Transfer Unit Federal Republic of Benin
Add: Siege Social Avenue Jean Paul Ii 08 BP 087, Cotonou .
Ref to your fund: $950,000.00USD

Attention: Please

Hello my dear, how are you today hope you are fine?

I write to inform you that we have already sent you $5,200.00. United State Dollars through Western union as we have been given the mandate to transfer your full compensation payment the total sum of $950.000.00 (Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand United State Dollars) via western union by this Government,

I was been trying to send you an E-mail since yesterday for the Western Union payment Details but the message keep returning back I don't really know why, therefore I try to re-send the e-mail to you again today with all the Western Union payment information for you to pick up the money from any outlet Western Union around you, such as MTCN and Sender Name so that you will pick up this $5,200.00. United State Dollars to enable us send another $5,200.00. Tomorrow as you know we will be sending you only $5,200.00 United State Dollars per day.

Please copy all this information and run to any nearest Western Union to pick up the $5,200.00. And call me back to send you another payment tomorrow, my direct phone line is +229 99-72-44-77, Manager: Dr. Gorge Ani.E-mail: (( call or email me once you picked up this $5,200.00. United State Dollars today,

Here is the Western Union information to pick up the $5,200.00. United State Dollars

MTCN: ___________# 2934843242
Sender's Name: ______ Robert Louis
Text Question:___________trust
Answer:___________________ HONESTY
Amount: ______________________ $5,200.00. United State Dollars

I am waiting for your call once you pick up this $5,200.00. Please E-mail me your direct telephone number because I need to be calling you once we send any payment for the information. Note we really need your current direct phone so that once we make any payment we shall call you for the MTCN.

Best regards.
Mr. James Steve
Director foreign Remittance Department Western Union International

Anti-fraud resources: