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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: "Western Union Money Transfer" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 21 Jun 2010 02:22:10 +0100
Subject: Hurry Up

We wish to inform that we have sent $9000USD already,that was given to you by
the United Nations (ECOWAS) as we are mandated to send you the total sum of
300,000USD through Western Union. Send Names, Address,Phone number.Processing
your first payment of $9,000USD to collect/Sender: Antony Clay MTCN:7724400166.

Mr Ken Texman

Anti-fraud resources: