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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. Christopher Wray" <>
Date: Wed, 03 Jul 2019 06:04:52 -0700
Subject: (IMF) and United Nations (UN)

FBI Headquarters
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20535 USA

Attn: Beneficiary

After proper and several investigations by the Western Union, Money Gram, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and United Nations (UN) Offices we found your name amongst those that have sent money through Western Union and Money Gram in the course of receiving your Inheritance, Lottery, United Nation compensation funds which proves that you have truly been swindled by those unscrupulous persons by sending money to them through the above mentioned means.

To this regard United Nations (UN) held a meeting with the Board of Directors of WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM, INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF) the FBI alongside with the MINISTRY of FINANCE. As a result of our investigations it was agreed that the sum of One Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (U.S.1, 500,000.00) should be transferred to you from the funds set aside by The United States Department of the Treasury to compensate scam victims.

This case is being handled and supervised by the FBI therefore we have submitted your details to effect the transfer of your funds to you. Contact the Western Union agent office through the information below:

Contact Person: Peter Simons
Address: Western Union Post Office, California

Yours sincerely,
Christopher Wray
FBI Director

Anti-fraud resources: