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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: "East-West Australia Lotteries," (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 9 Jun 2009 20:28:38 +0200
Subject: congratulations claim winnings !!!

You have won ($1,000,000.00) (United state Dollars) in East-West Australia Lotteries
For further development for Clarification and
procedure please Contact Mrs.Linda Van Loes.
Direkt Bank Amsterdam
Tel: 31 617-802-058
Fax 31-84-752-0508.
send the followings:
(your name)...(email address)..(tel phone).
REF No: 9590 ES 9414;;; BATCH No: 573881545-NL/2007 ;; TICKET NoP
3502 /8707-01;;; SERIAL No: 05908 LUCKY No: 9-43-97

Anti-fraud resources: