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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: "Andrew Woods" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2011 17:32:11 -0800
Subject: ***Needed A Mystery Shopper In Your Area***

POSITION TITLE: Regional Mystery Shopper
START DATE: Immediate
COMMISSION: $300.00 Per Survey

We have a mystery shopping assignment in your area and your wages is 300$per assignment,The job Entails Evaluation process,visiting Walmart,e.t.c Send below information to get started Full Name ,Address (no PO box) City,State, Zip code ,Phone number home and mobile, occupation age. Reply to
Best Regards,
Andrew Woods
Recruitment officer
Mystery Shoppers World
Scheduled Delivery: 05-February-2011
Secret Shopper®

Anti-fraud resources: