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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:

From: "Linda Parker" <>
Date: Wed, 17 May 2006 20:06:41 +0100
Subject: Programme & Events coordinator

Dear Winner,

We are officially informing you of the result of the Lottery Winners International programs held on the 29th of April 2006 as part of our promotional programs for the year 2006. Your e-mail address attached to ticket number 77007742781005-18721 with reference number 414-3721060 drew winning numbers 7-00-71-00-66-49 and credited to batch number 121cfc, which consequently won in the 3rd category via our electronic ticket as stated above. You have there fore been approved for a pay out of £1,800,000.00 (One Million Eight Hundred Thousand Pounds).
Total funds have now been deposited and insured with our affiliate security firm for transfer into your nominated bank account either by means of wire transfers through any of our correspondent banks or any other means suitable to you. We also advice that you keep your winning information very confidential as our security policy demands to avoid double claims/impersonation and unwarranted abuse of this program by some individuals.

All participants were selected through a random computer ballot system drawn from over 800,000 company and 1,000,000 individual email addr esses and names from all over the world. This promotional program takes place annually and we hope with part of your winning you will take part in our next year 20 Million Pounds International Lottery. To file for
your claim, you will be contacting our accounts department authorized to verify and process your claims for your total payment (You will receive more information upon your acknowledgment of this email).
This lottery is promoted and sponsored by software corporations and other private organizations to help individuals generate fortunes which would encourage them to expand their business frontiers thereby creating more opportunities and assisting with humanitarian concerns within their immediate environment. Please Note that winnings must be claimed not later than 5th of June 2006. After this date all unclaimed funds will be included in our subsequent program coming up before the end of the July (2006) In order to avoid complications always quote your reference number in all correspondence.
Furthermore, should there be any change of address do inform us as soon as possible. Congratulations from our organization and thank you for being part of our promotional program.
N.B: Anybody under the age of 18 is automatically disqualified from this program.please send your response to
Acknowledging that fact that you received this notification mail
Sincerely yours,

Mrs Linda Parker
Programme & Events coordinator

Anti-fraud resources: