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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: "Yahoo!! International Lottery" <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2010 23:06:46 -0700
Subject: Congratulations!!!


We are Pleased to inform you that your email was selected among the winning numbers of the recently Lotto conducted in in our head office.respond to this mail within 72 hours otherwise we will assume that you are not interested.

We conducted the lotto in conjuction with Thai Government Lottery Board
For more details please visit

Yahoo!! International Lottery Organization
Reg No: 79472002

Mrs. Tina Akira

Anti-fraud resources: