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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: "Mark Rodney" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2010 21:17:21 +0100
Subject: Hello

It gives me a great deal of pleasure to write you this mail even when it might come to you as a surprise. I hope you find it of interest.
My name is Mark Rodney. I am an Auditor with a Bank here in Europe . I would like to use this means to ask your assistance in moving some
funds over to your country.
I have in the course of my duties come in contact with some funds that have been inactive for some years now and careful investigation proved
the original depositor of the funds died five years ago.
All attempts to reach the suppose beneficiary of the deposit were fruitless and before it is forfeited to the state, I will like to move
it outside now and this is were I need your assistance.
I look forward to hearing from you and my gratitude for your patience
Respectfully yours
Mark Rodney
Tel: 0044 704 571 9172

Anti-fraud resources: