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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: Eric Addo <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2007 21:39:06 +0000

Attn: Sir/Madam: My name is Mr. Eric Addo from Accra the capital city of the Republic of Ghana. I am the former Director General in the Ministry of Mine and Energy for my country between 1985 and 2001.
I am contacting you because of my interest in Investing In your country
and as someone I believe I can partner with to supply investment
feasibility information and support because you know the terrain. Due to non-stable economic situation here in Ghana,
I decided to look outside the shores of my country to explore
investment opportunities in your country and in the process make good
returns on my investment. I have in my possession US$ 5.5 million Dollars which I deposited in bank here in Ghana in safe custody for investment abroad. I hope we can work together and make a good and profitable investment.
Due to Fraudulent/scam activities which is common now worldwide I will
like us to go through the legal procedure as stipulated by the Ministry
of Foreign affairs so that our investment/fund will be protected and
registered. If you think you or your company have the
expertise, experience and status to work with me with utmost trust,
then send me your acceptance reply to this mail and we will start from
there on. I will then send you my IDENTITY for you to know whom you are
dealing wit while you will reciprocate same. Till I receive your reply. Thanks and stay blessed. Mr. Eric Addo (Ghana).

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Anti-fraud resources: