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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: "Mr John Kenneth." <>
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2011 06:40:26 -0800 (PST)
Subject: ATTN; Beneficiary,

ATTN; Beneficiary,
We have concluded to effect your compensation payment $1.2 Million dollars through western union today, but the maximum amount you will be receiving each day starting from tomorrow is $5,000.00 daily until the funds is completely transferred. Kindly contact western union Agent with his contact information.

Western union Agent: Mr. Patrick Wilfred
Phone:+229-98 34 74 99
Today $5000 dollars has been posted across by Mr. Patrick Wilfred in your favor. So kindly contact him immediately through their email and ask him to give you the payment Text Question/Answer to pick the $5,000.00.

However, you are required to forward the following information below to their email address for immediate payment of your USD $1.2 million Dollars.
1. Full Name
2. Residential Address
3. Age
4. Occupation
5. Direct Telephone Numbers
6. A Copy of Your Identification
You will be contacted by Western Union in the next 24 hours as soon as you forward your required information to their email address(
Best Regards,
Mr. John Kenneth.

Anti-fraud resources: