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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: Sensev Maddox <>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2011 20:20:28 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Pick Up Your($10,000)Payment By Western Union Department,Call Tanti Dako On PHONE Tel:+229-9977 39 04

 Attn Sir,  Now we have arranged your payment of ($4.8millions)Four Millions Eight Hundred Thousand United State Dollars to be sent to you through Western Union Money Transfer,We will be sending the money to you via Western Union Money Transfer., the amount you will receive per day is $10,000.Now you are free to contact Western Union Money Transfer Office via email or phone as listed bellow for an immediate release of your funds to you Mr.Tanti Dako,
Western Union Department
Financial Bank Benin,
Tel:+229-9977 39 04
E-mail: ( ) Note that the administrator payment need this details from you to process your payment: Receiver name-----------------
Test question-----------------
ID___________________ Comply now because as soon as you sent this required details to Mr Tanti Dako, he will start sending your payment by Western Union Money Transfer.His contact email is( ) Regards,
Sensev Maddox

Anti-fraud resources: