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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: "nelson smith" <>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 13:52:34 +0000
Subject: Dear friend!!!

Attn: C.e.o.,

My name is Mr. Nelson Smith, personal attorney to Mohammed Abacha. I need
your assistance in taking custody of some funds and thereafter invest it
into viable business venture in your country in partnership with him.

Please view this sites and read it's content carefully.

The funds is presently deposited with a security company abroad. All that is
needed is for you to arrange to take delivery of the fund from the Security

Please if you are interested, contact me without any further delay so that i
can give you more details.

I am looking forward to your urgent and positive response.

I anticipate your prompt response.

Best Regards,

Mr. Nelson Smith.

Anti-fraud resources: