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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.

Click here to report a problem with this page.



Fraud email example:

Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 14:14:30 +0000

New Mexico Lottery Headquarters:
Palais Des Nations,
109 Geneva 14,


The members and sponsors happily announce to you the draw of the New
Mexico Lottery programs held on the 10th of November, 2005 in Melbourne,
Australia. Your e-mail address attached to ticket number: 2247887653 which
subsequently won you the lottery in the 2nd category.
All participants were selected randomly from World Wide Web site through
computer draw system and extracted from over 100,000 individuals and
The Lottery teams up with local companies and media partners to promote
Lottery products, and informs citizens on where the proceeds from Lottery
ticket sales go.
You have therefore been approved to claim a total sum of 1,000,000 EURO(ONE
MILLION EURO) in cash. This is from a total cash prize of FIFTY THREE
MILLION EURO,shared amongst the first hundred (53) lucky winners in this
A statewide focus is taken on most large promotions, and the Lottery
works with local companies, such as Pepsi and IBM, in "co-promotional"
partnerships. These partnerships help each company introduce new products to
This promotion takes place annually. For security reasons, you are advised
to keep your winning
information confidential till your claims is processed and your money
remitted to you in whatever manner you deem fit to claim your prize.
This is part of our precautionary measure to avoid double claiming and
unwarranted abuse of this program by some unscrupulous elements. Please be
In view of this, your 1,000,000 EURO(ONE MILLION EURO) would be released to
you by our Security firm. To file for your claim, please contact our
fiduciary/Claims Agent:
Name: Mr John Wesley

To avoid unnecessary delays and complications, you are to contact Mr John
Wesley with followings details below:
1. Your full names,telephone, contact address
2. quote your Ticket number in any correspondences with us or our designated
agent. Our agent will immediately commence the process to facilitate the
release of your funds as soon as you contact him.
The Lottery is strongly committed to maintaining the privacy of personal
information that is gathered from the use of its web site and web services.
The following statement discloses the Lottery's privacy policy and its
gathering/dissemination practices.
The Lottery will not release personal information to third parties except
where it is already provided by law. Depending on the specific nature of the
service, information may be shared with other state agencies as stated in
the Open Records Act.
This statute allows for the exchange of public records or sharing of
information between public agencies when the exchange is serving a
legitimate governmental need or is necessary in the performance of a
legitimate government function.
E-mail addresses or other information that is obtained as a result of
interacting with the Colorado Lottery web site will be used for the benefit
of the Lottery and will not be sold to third party companies except as
required by the Open Records Act.
The Lottery will not share personal information with any private party,
except as required by the Open Records Act.
Caroline Bryan
(Zonal Coordinator)
please contact our fiduciary/Claims Agent:
Name: Mr John Wesley

Anti-fraud resources: