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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: "United Nations Online coordinator" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2011 00:18:10 +0800
Subject: Dear Beneficiary

Dear Beneficiary

You have won the sum of 1,000,000 USD (One Million USD) from United Nations Organization lottery program on our 2010 charity bonanza. The winning ticket was selected
from a Data Base of Internet E-mail Users, from which your Email Address came out as the winning coupon. Quickly contact the claims agent with the details below;
Fill the following;
Marital status:
Country of resident:
Also take note that your funds has been withdraw from alliance bank for security reasons and deposited with a reputable bank that will provide with codes to access
your winning prizes online. The board took the decision to make it easy for you to claim your prize within three business working days. We advise that you keep this
confidential until you claim your funds.
On behalf of the United Nations staff, Congratulations once again.
Charles Ampang
United Nations Online coordinator

Anti-fraud resources: