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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: "diplomatsismyname22" <>
Date: Tue, 1 Jul 2008 23:59:00 +0100
Subject: RE

Colonial Finance Company
21 Canon Stress London UK
Tel: 44-704-579-3686.
Fax: 44- 870-136-0542

Dear Sir/Ma,

This is an official notification of a consignment Marked "Personal Effects"
deposited with us on the 6th June 2008 by a United Nations licensed diplomat
HOWARD CARTER from London UK. It content was said to have your inheritance
fund valued at $5.8 million. Since then, we have been waiting for you to
contact us for the delivery.

We have arranged for the safekeeping of special and valuable packages and
baggage in trust for reputable clients that are honest and trustworthy.
Please email or fax us the following information below to enable us make the
necessary delivery schedule of your consignment to your doorstep.

Proof of Identification: (Passport or driver's
Your Complete Address (Physical Address with Zip
Nearest Airport:
Direct Telephone/ Fax Number:
Home Address and your full name

Complete the above and send back to us as soon as possible for a possible
delivery timetable.


Dr. Mervyn King PhD
Operations Manager
Colonial Finance Company

Anti-fraud resources: