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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: "Larry James" <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2010 15:43:33 -0700
Subject: Attn: Please,

My name is Mr. Larry James the Chairman of 10 Man delegates sent for general auditing to African Banks by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank group after the meeting held over settlement of foreign Contract / Inheritance and Lottery depts.
During our auditing, I was able to identify application of an illegal funds claim in your favor as the beneficiary but after proper investigation, it is clearly proved that you are not the true beneficiary because there are no authentic documents for legal back up.
This fund has been in Non-Investment Escrow account No: 78634447097 for a long time now waiting for claim. I have contacted you to find out if you will be ready to work with me have this fund remitted to your account as the true beneficiary for our mutual benefits.
If you are interested for a successful deal contact me immediately to let you know how to have this fund legally secured into your account without any delay.
Meanwhile, I know that this is not part of my job but it is an opportunity to be utilized because I believed that it will benefit both us more than returning it to the Government treasury since I know very well that if we recover this fund to the Government treasury, other top Government officials will benefit from it.
Please, you know that it is not a bad thing that I made you know this and I would not want you to use it indict my reputation at least; you know where I am coming from. In case, you are not interested, politely let me know so that I will have the fund recovered to Government coffers account.
I wait your urgent reply.
Mr. Larry James.

Anti-fraud resources: