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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: Microsoft Award <>
Date: Sat, 13 Mar 2010 16:17:41 -0300
Subject: Dear Winner


Attn: Beneficiary,

This is to inform you that your email address is among the 100 beneficiaries of Microsoft Online Endowment Fund Award.

Your Funds Would Be Released to You any Moment From Now, But Before Any Further Processing, We Need to Have Your Information Registered in Our Database, Please Fill The Form as Below and send to your zoned payment officer as soon as possible with his contact information as below.

Note: Your File Reference Number is MSCEFA2009/072.

Full Name:
Residential Address:
Next of Kin:
File Reference Number:

As Soon as he receives The Information Above You Will Be Duly Informed On What Next to Do.

Name: Mr. Bright Sampson
Tel: +44703 599 1668

Yours Sincerely,

Mrs. Betty Anderson.

Anti-fraud resources: