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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: "LT. COL. PETER N. BENCHOFF" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2010 14:57:05 -0000


I am Lt. Col. Peter N. Benchoff, Commander of the U.S. Army's 2nd Battalion, 502 infantry, 101st Airborne Division which is currently in Afghanistan peace keeping force.

We request your immediate attention and understanding in this regard. You have been elected to receive a consignment which is containing the sum of $21.8 000.000.00 million dollars.

This money was retrieved from the rebels that were caught in the central area of Afghanistan on the 2nd/August/ 2010, and we the entire force commanders have decided to ship out this money into your country for safe keeping until our investigation is carried out successfully.

You will be rewarded with the sum of $3.000.000 million dollars for this assistance and you must safe guard this money diligently while in your custody.

Get back to me for more information's.

Best regard
Lt. Col. Peter N. Benchoff

Anti-fraud resources: