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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: "United States Cash Award" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2010 13:38:26 +0100
Subject: Information

United States Cash Award
Path Mark #61613440
Springfield Blvd Spring
Field Gardens, NY11413


This is to inform you of your winning from the United States International Lottery which is partially based on electronic selection of winners using their e-mail addresses. Your e-mail address was attached to the following details Reference Number: 575061725, Ticket Number: 8056490902/188, Winning Number: KB8701/LPRC which won in the 2nd Category and you has been approved for immediate payment of the sum of US$1,000,000.00.

Contact the claims agent with the following details for collection of your winning prize.

Claims Agent: Dr. Green Wood
Official Email:

Congrats in anticipation.
Mr. John Wilson
Copyright © 1968-2010 United States Of America Lottery Inc All Rights Reserved.

Anti-fraud resources: