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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: "O.C.C" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 2010 04:06:51 -0700

I Mr Elvis Richards, the Operations Manager wishes to inform you that your fund tagged diplomatic luggage 122 with Ref:No1226/X42/206 which was deposited in our vault for safekeeping and Which bears you as the beneficiary is due for collection. Be informed that the consignment contains the sum of $2.5 million dollars in the luggage.
I will take care of the cost of shipment and delivery charges, you shall be liable for the ticket fees of the diplomat that will accompany the consignment to your country.To enable me commence shipment procedure. kindly furnish me with a copy of your international passport or drivers license.
Yours Sincerely
Mr Elvis Richards

Anti-fraud resources: