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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: Barr sanco sea <>
Date: Mon, 2 Feb 2009 01:54:49 -0800 (PST)

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

- Although you might be apprehensive about my email as we have not meet before, my name is Barr, Sanco Sea, I Work with the Bank Of Africa As {Director of Finance}.There is the sum of $12,500,000.00 in my bank "Here in Benin Republic West Africa. There is no beneficiaries stated concerning these funds which mean no one has come forward to claim this sum for 12 years now and no one would ever come forward to claim it. That is why I ask that we work together so as to have the sum transferred out of my bank into your account legally without any fear or illegality involving, I will guide you through on how we can complete this. Please endeavour to observe utmost discretion in all matters concerning this issue. Contact me on mail private email Your earliest response to this letter will be appreciated. Regards. Barr, Sanco Sea. + 229 937 947 35.

Anti-fraud resources: