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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: "Owusu Boateng" <> (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 6 Dec 2004 17:42:16 +0000
Subject: REGARDS

Dear Friend,
My name is MR.Owusu Boateng. I am the Eastern Regional Manager of the Barclays Bank of Ghana in West Africa.
I am a good Christian. I do not want problems but I just hope you can assist me. I write you this letter in good faith. I am in control of the sum of Two Millionnine nine hundred and fifty thousand US dollars ($2,950,000.00) which was an excess of profit made by our regional eastern office in the last quarter of the year 2003, which I have placed on a call deposit account and did not declare this to my head office.
Please, I contact you because I can move this money to our offshore filtering center London covering the region, but can I rely on your trust to hold this money for me until I arrive your country and pick it up myself and you deduct 30% of the money as your commission.
If you accept my offer you can contact me only on my private phone number 00233 244220836 or reply using this alternative email address , if you do not accept can you forget I contacted you?
All I need is for you to get me a good current account in your bank in your country where I can move this money.
There are pratically no risk involved, it will be a bank to bank transfer. I hope you understand my situation. Thanks and God bless.
Your's truly,
Owusu Boateng.

Anti-fraud resources: