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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: LOTTO NL <>
Date: Thu, 07 Jan 2010 04:14:57 -0800
Subject: Dear Internet User,

Dear Internet User,

This Email is to inform you that you emerged a winner of the sum of
$2,500,000.00USD with the following numbers attached Ref Number: PW 9590 ES
9414,Batch Number: 573881545-NL/ and Ticket Number: PP3502 /8707-01 on our
online draws which was played on the year 2010

For further Information about your Winnings,contact your Lottery
Claims Officer
with the following contact Address Below.
Name: Mr.Paul Edward
Phone: 0031 61 7705 833
Fax: 0031 84 733 8594
Amsterdam. The Netherlands

You will provide him with the following information:

You are advised to call the Claims agent for confirmation or provide the
following information for processing the payment of your cash award.

Telephone/Fax number:
Winning Email:

Congratulations! Thank you for being a user of the World Wide Web.
Yours Faithfully,
Mrs.Mary Van Dotcha
Lottery Coordinator.

This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.

Anti-fraud resources: