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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: "HM Treasury" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 2010 08:16:29 -0800
Subject: Payment Transfer Notification of GBP3, 500.000.00 Pounds

Payment Transfer Notification of GBP3, 500.000.00 Pounds

The treasury directorate division of the UK Financial Monetary Service Authority writes to inform you that we have credit advice documentary evidence in your favor to authorize the release of GBP3,500,000.00(Three Million Five hundred Thousand Pounds Only) to you being an outstanding payment accrued interest on your contract/inheritance payment. As the only authorized officer saddle with the responsibility of making sure you get and confirm the transaction, you are hereby advised to carefully confirm to us your receiving banking details for verification, so that upon clearance confirmation of your details, we shall direct the paying institution in London to immediately release and remit your payment without any further delay .
As soon as we receive and confirm this information, your credit advice confirmation evidence will be sent to our paying institution for the immediate release of the fund to your nominated account. Await your response.
Kindest regards
Chief Frank Williams
Chief Executive Officer
HM Treasury London
1 Horse guards Road, London
SW1A 2HQ; London UK
Office Tel: 447024071708.
Direct all reply to:

Anti-fraud resources: