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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: "kofi ahmadu" <>
Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2005 03:04:24 +0000
Subject: GOOD-DAY

Dear Sir/Ma,
Do refer your acceptance for assistance to mailing address for quicker
response :
My name is Kofi Ahmadu. I am the Personal aid of the United Nations
Secretary General, Kofi Annan.
My motive for contacting you is based on my urgent need of a partner that
can assist in securing/investing $15,000,000.00. The source of this fund is
my now overtly known participation, in the Iraqi Oil for Food Program.
Though the program has been discontinued since 2004, the public scrutiny
into how the affairs of the program were run has refused to go away.
I was on transit in Madrid the Spanish capital when I was contacted on the
phone by my lawyers that a scandal involving me had broke on the said
I had to immediately re-organize my immediate travel plans.
Coincidentally, I had just taken delivery of the aforementioned funds.
Because I knew that the press would be looking out for me, I had to
hurriedly seek for a storage company in Madrid to keep away the trunk cases
containing the said funds.
I would have since gone back to retrieve the suitcases but I know I am being
watched because of the Oil for Food scandal and the case still hanging,
travelling will complicate issues.
This is why I require your assistance.
You are to proceed immediately to Madrid, Spain with the relevant claim
documents for the suitcases.
I have already notified the storage company in writing, of my intention to
elect someone that would be coming on my behalf and it is ok with them. They
have simply asked me to arm my elected person with a consent letter.
Looking forward to your response.
Kofi Ahmadu

Anti-fraud resources: