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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 Janet Brown <>
Date: Tue, 01 Sep 2009 07:04:00 +0200
Subject: Claim, Please..Reply With { } ..

Claim, Please..Reply With { } ..
I was diagnosed for cancer for about few weeks ago. I have been touched by God
to donate from what I have inherited from my late husband to you for the good
work of God/needy, I decided to WILL/donate the sum of $10 MILLION USD to you.
Contact my Physican Dr Steve Astyl with this, specified email; { },Tel; +44 70457 87160 ,for the funds release,my personal
ref number law/WILL/9834520012. I will appreciate your utmost confidentiality
in this matter until the task is accomplished as I don't want anything that
will jeopardize my last wish. Regards, Mrs Janet Brown
1st Sept 2009.

Anti-fraud resources: