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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: (sent from abused email account)
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2008 01:28:42 +0530 (IST)

I have a new email address!You can now email me at:

- Based on the meeting held on the 4th of November 2008 in Geneva, Switzerland concerning the rapid fraudulent activities that has been going on globally, especially from the African continent as contained in a report submitted by the International Monitoring Unit of the IMF and World Bank respectively. We have been authorized by the governing body of the International Monetary Fund (I.M.F) to compensate few affected victims selected by the International Monitoring Unit. In lieu of the above, we are mandated to release a compensation sum of USD250.000.00 to you through ELECTRONIC ATM CASH CARD. To guarantee the security of your compensation fund, the fund was programmed into ATM CASH CARD with your personal Identification number (PIN) that will enable only you have direct control over this fund that has been allocated to you. We obtained an irrevocable payment guarantee on your compensation money from the IMF headquarters; therefore we are happy to inform you today, the 11th of November,2008 that your compensation Fund has been credited into ATM CASH CARD in your favour based on the recommendation and instructions. I will send through email attachment a copy of your USD250,000.00 compensation ATM CASH CARD already issued for your viewing on your request including my official ID for your double assurance and also the information you need to send the required fee of USD255 for the immunity coverage and express delivery cost. Upon your compliance in providing the required fee for the immunity coverage and express delivery cost. Your ATM CASH CARD and the bank note containing the Pin Code already packaged will be dispatched to you. Congratulations while we expect your urgent response. Yours Sincerely, Sir. Anthony Boote, Regional Director, Debt Management Office [DMO], International Monetary Funds, Nigeria, West Africa. Direct Line: 234-8054149727.

Anti-fraud resources: