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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: "DR ALI USMAN" <>
Date: Fri, 20 Jun 2008 19:51:42 +0100
Subject: From: The Office of Dr.Ali Usman

From: The Office of Dr.Ali Usman
Paymaster General of the Federation
Federal Ministry of Finance


>From the records of outstanding foreign payments due for release with banks
in Nigeria, your name and contact was discovered as next on the list of the
outstanding foreigners' payment which are stil hanging on and who have not
yet received their payments.

I wish to inform you that your payment is being processed and will be
released to you as soon as you reconfirm your payment details so that we can
authenticate the claim legally. Also note that from our record the Federal
Governemnt of Nigeria has only maped out the sum of US$6,700,000.00 Six
million, seven hundred thousand united states Dollars) to be released to you
for now, after which the remaining part of your claims will be released to

Kindly re-confirm to us the followings:
1) Your full name and mailing address.
2) Telephone, Fax and mobile #.
3) Occupation
4) Age .
5) Your Bank Account and Name of your Bank.

In receipt of the above information, your payment will be approved and paid
to you by wired to your nominated bank account, you are advised to get back
to me immediately for more clarifications.

Yours truly,

Dr Ali Usman,
Paymaster General of the Federation
Federal Ministry of Finance

Anti-fraud resources: