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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: "Mrs. Felicia Jenkins" <>
Date: Fri, 12 Sep 2008 14:51:49 +0100
Subject: *****SPAM***** RE-ENBURSMENT FUND (US$1,200,000.00)

Spam detection software, running on the system "", has
identified this incoming email as possible spam. The original message
has been attached to this so you can view it (if it isn't spam) or label
similar future email. If you have any questions, see
The administrator of that system for details.

Content preview: -- Dear Friend, I am happy to inform you about my success
in getting those funds transferred under the co- operation of a new partner
from Paraguay.Although you might find it difficult to remember me, since
it has indeed been a very long time. [...]

Content analysis details: (6.8 points, 5.0 required)

pts rule name description
---- ---------------------- --------------------------------------------------
-1.8 ALL_TRUSTED Passed through trusted hosts only via SMTP
2.1 SUBJ_ALL_CAPS Subject is all capitals
1.3 MISSING_HEADERS Missing To: header
1.5 MILLION_USD BODY: Talks about millions of dollars
0.6 US_DOLLARS_3 BODY: Mentions millions of $ ($NN,NNN,NNN.NN)
-0.2 BAYES_40 BODY: Bayesian spam probability is 20 to 40%
[score: 0.3506]
1.2 ADVANCE_FEE_2 Appears to be advance fee fraud (Nigerian 419)
1.4 ADVANCE_FEE_3 Appears to be advance fee fraud (Nigerian 419)
0.6 ADVANCE_FEE_4 Appears to be advance fee fraud (Nigerian 419)
0.0 AWL AWL: From: address is in the auto white-list

Anti-fraud resources: