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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: Read <>
Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2010 07:06:28 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Sir/Madam,

Do you know that no matter how easy running a program may seem it still requires that the right approach is taken to actualize success otherwise it will look very impossible to run the program?
My Proposal is simple, I wish to request for your friendship because I have seen that you are a trust worthy and a sincere fellow whom I can do things with. I am sorry about your recent and past experience but please give my request a favourable consideration.
My elder sister is the Cote d’Ivoire treasury vault director and she is willing to move fund(s) that are about to be moved into federal government account because there is no ownership to the fund(s). All I need from you is your interest to be my foreign partner so that things will be done with cordial relationship, equity and rationality.
We have a plan to load the fund in two ATM CARDS and send them to you or bring them to you by myself so that the fund will be withdrawn from the card on daily basis until we have the last cent otherwise using any other method will involve a lot of processes that will eventually not come to an end like getting several certificates, payments of insurance fee(s), then using diplomats and lots more. If you assure me of your partnership I will show you the simple way this can be done and in less five days we will celebrate.

Anti-fraud resources: