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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: Western Union Money Transfer Office <>
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 10:49:49 -0300
Subject: PICK UP YOUR $5000,00USD NOW!!!

How are you today?

I write to inform you that we have already sent you $5,000.00USD
through Western
Union as we have been given the mandate to transfer your full
payment of $1.800,000.00USD via Western Union Money Transfer by the
Nations (ECOWAS). This is because the United Nations and (ECOWAS) are
individuals due to the worldwide economy meltdown.

I would have requested for your phone number to give you the
information through
phone but internet hackers were many. So i decided to email you the
MTCN and
sender name so that you can pick up this $5,000.00USD to enable us
send another
$5,000.00USD by tomorrow as you know that we will be sending you only
$5,000.00USD per day.=A0 The fund was sent in the name which you use in
your e-mail address.
Please pick up this information and rush to any western union to pick
up the
$5,000.00USD and send us an email back to enable us send you another
payment by

Manager :Mrs.Anita Daniel

email me once you picked up this USD5000.00 today.
Here is the western union information to pick up the


Sender First Name:Thomas
Sender Last Name:Peter
MTCN:=A0 =A03530356597
Question: Who Is Great
Answer: God
Amount: $5000.00USD

I am waiting for your email once you pick up USD5000.00,


Mrs.Anita Daniel

Anti-fraud resources: