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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: "Mary Adams" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 19 Oct 2009 01:02:18 +0100
Subject: God bless you

My name is Mrs Mary Adams I was diagnosed
of cancer 2 years ago, I have decided to donate
the sum of $5.5 million to you for the good work
of the lord.Contact my lawyer with this email
Simon J. Paterson.
Quote my personal reference number tsd/08/ikg/91
I wish you all the best and may the good
Lord bless you abundantly, and please use the
funds well and always extend the good work to
others I don't know you but I have been directed
to do this. Thanks and God bless.
Mary Adams

Anti-fraud resources: