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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: "Free Lotto UK" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2010 00:58:58 +0100
Subject: Congratulations!!

Reference Number: FL/UK5294610
Batch Number: 6105


Your email address has been automatically selected with our raffle software and you have therefore been qualified for a lump sum payout of GBP4,000,000.00 (Four Million British Pounds).

To redeem your cash prize instantly,you must call your Lottery claims Agent whose details are as follows;

Contact Person: Mr.Borna Weiss.
Tel: +44-755-618-9373

You are advised to remain discreet about your reference and batch number to avoid someone else coming forward on your behalf to lay claims to the funds.

Best regards.

Miranda Coker
For Management.

Anti-fraud resources: