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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: "OBI EDO" <>
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2008 14:20:38 +0100
Subject: We await your urgent response

Attention: Beneficiary.

This is to officially inform you that we have verified your contract /
inheritance file and discovered reasons why you are yet to receive your
payment. It is because of irregularities and complications discovered on
your payment file by our technical experts in respect to your contract /
inheritance payment requirements which have just been duly rectified.

Meanwhile, we have been informed that you are still dealing with impostors
and non-recommended officials in the bank. Such acts must stop for security
reasons if you wish to receive your payment. Since we have decided to bring
a solution to your problem, right now we have arranged your payment through
our ATM swift card payment this is the latest instruction by our president
Chief, Musa YARíDUA (GCFR) President Federal Republic of Nigeria. Below is
the arrangement:

The swift card center will send you an ATM card which you will use to
withdraw your money from any ATM machine in any part of the world, but the
maximum is twenty thousand dollars per 2 hours, so if you like to receive
your fund this way please do let us know by contacting the card payment
center of Eco Bank Of Nigeria , E-mail: ( and Dr.
William Brown, Director Telex Department, Eco Bank of Nigeria on and also
send the following information to swift card center:

1 Your full name
2 Phone and Fax Number,
3 Address where you want your card to be delivered through diplomatic
service (p.o box not accepted)
4 and total amount you are expecting.

Instead of losing your fund. Please indicate to the card center the total
sum you are expecting and for your information you have to stop any further
communication with any institution or office until you receive the ATM card.

Call ECOBANK Telex Department Director as soon as you receive this important
message on his direct number for more direction and instructions on this
Note: because of impostors, we hereby issue you our code of conduct tag
number, which is (805) so you must have to indicate this code when
contacting the card center.

Chief Auditor / Secretary
Eco Bank of Nigeria

Anti-fraud resources: