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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:

Reply-To: MARY BANKS <>
Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2019 05:57:56 +0900 (JST)

Dear beneficiary, this is Mrs Mary Banks from UNITED NATION/ECOWAS and i want to inform you that the first payment of your compensation fund has been sent today via Western Union for you to pick up your payment of $5000.00 USD. We will continue sending your money until your total amount of $2.8 million is completely send to you. So rush to any Western Union office now to pick up your first payment of $5000.00usd now, after that you can get back to me for your second transfer, I am waiting to hear from you as soon as you pick up your first payment, you can email our Head office at ( or text us at (213 631-9668).

Here is the information to pick up your first payment track it now and go and pick up your first payment of $5000.00.
MTCN 643-922-0650
Sender's First Name: WILLIAM
Sender's Last Name: RICE
Text Question: IN GOD
Text Answer: WE TRUST

Anti-fraud resources: