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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: "Barrister Shore Johnson" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2011 13:54:25 -0600
Subject: Atm Payment notification

Dear Friend,

How are you today? It’s been a while you will agree with me. How is the family and work in general? Mine has been good I give God the glory. I have been able to conclude the transaction with the help of a brother. I wish to thank you for your effort during the course of our interaction even though you didn’t have the patience to see it mature I still appreciate your input.

To this end I have decided to show some gratitude. I have left an ATM card worth $USD750, 000.00 that you can use on any ATM machine anywhere. I will like you to contact my secretary, Frank Oghene comply with him so that he will make the ATM card available to you and the secret PIN code. Be aware that only deductions less than $USD5,000:00 daily would be allowed on the card. At the moment, I'm very busy here in China, trying my hands on some investments. Please I will like you to accept this token with good faith as this is from the bottom of my heart.

Contact: Frank Oghene

Don’t forget to send Your FULL NAME, TELEPHONE NUMBER,CONTACT ADDRESS for his reference and make arrangement with him on how you want to receive your ATM card.
Thanks and Stay in tune.
Barrister Shore Johnson

Anti-fraud resources: