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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: "Etisalat 9jillions Xmas award" <> (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 09:58:27 +0530 (IST)
Subject: Dear Lucky Winner!!!

Greetings from the Etisalat Telecommunications, An accredited ATM card
(394) awarded from Etisalat 9jillions Xmas award of $3.4 Million US
Dollars with card number: 4478763192735414 has been allocated in favor of
your email address which is to your own favor. Provide my secretary Mrs
Louis Collins ( with the following information
to facilitate your claims:

Full Names,Home Address,Phone Number,mobile

Best Regards.

Anti-fraud resources: