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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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Fraud email example:

From: "Mrs. Susan Davies" <> (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 31 May 2005 10:23:00 -0700

Date: 15/05/05,
Ref: 475061725/05,
Batch: 7056490902/188,
Winning No: GB8701/LPRC

We are delighted to inform you of your prize release on the 15th May 2005 from the Australian International Lottery program.
Your name "email address" was attached to ticket number; 475061725 /05/7056490902 serial number 7741137002 15/05/2005.This batch draws the lucky numbers as follows 2-9-22-23-24-30 bonus number 5, which consequently won the lottery in the second category.
You hereby have been approved lump sum pay of US$500,000.00 (FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS) in cash credit file ref: ILP/HW/475061725/05 from the total cash prize of US16, 000,000.00 shared amongst sixteen lucky winners, based on their category.
All participants "email address" were selected through a computer balloting system drawn form Nine hundred thousand names from Canada, Australia, United States, Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Oceanic as part of our international promotions program, which is conducted annually.

This Lottery was promoted and sponsored by some multinational companies as part of their social responsibility to the citizens in the communities where they have operational base.
Further more your "email address" falls within our African representative office in Johannesburg, South Africa. As indicated in your play coupon and your prize of US$500,000.00 will be released to you from this regional branch office in Sandton South Africa.
We hope with part of your prize, you will participate in our end of year high stakes for US$1.3 Billion international draw.
Please do contact:
Name: Mr. Phillip Adams.
Phone: 27-73-573-9752.
Fax: 27-11-807-6086.

Mutual Park Jan Smuts Drive
Pinelands, Gauteng.7405
Please quote your reference, batch and winning number which can be found on the top left corner of this notification as well as your full names and address to help locate your file easily.
For security reasons, we advice all winners to keep this information confidential from the public until your claim is processed and your prize released to you.
This is part of our security protocol to avoid dual claiming and unwarranted taking advantage of this program by non-participant or unofficial personnel.

Note, all winnings MUST be claimed with a specified date; otherwise YOUR PRIZE will be returned as Unclaimed and eventually donated to charity.
Congratulations once again on your winnings!
Best Regards
Susan Davies

Anti-fraud resources: