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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: "Jim Ovia" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2011 18:49:39 +0100

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Attention: Friend,
How are you today? Hope all is well with you and family?, You may not
understand why this mail came to you.

We have been having a meeting for the passed 7 months which ended 2 days ago
with the then secretary to the UNITED NATIONS. This email is to all the
people that have been scammed in any part of the world, the UNITED NATIONS
have agreed to compensate them with the sum of US$ 500,000.00

This includes every foreign contractors that may have not received their
contract sum, and people that have had an unfinished transaction or
international businesses that failed due to Government problems etc.

We found your name in our list and that is why we are contacting you, this
have been agreed upon and have been signed.

You are advised to contact Mr. Jim Ovia of our paying center in Africa, as
he is our representative in Nigeria, contact him immediately for your
Cheque/ International Bank Draft of USD$500,000.00 This funds are in a Bank
Draft for security purpose ok? so he will send it to you and you can clear
it in any bank of your choice.

Therefore, you should send him your full Name and telephone number your
correct mailing address where you want him to send the Draft to you. Contact
Mr. Jim Ovia immediately for your Cheque:

Person to Contact: Mr. Jim Ovia
Phone: +234-8067414454
Thanks and God bless you and your family. Hoping to hear from you as soon as
you cash your Bank Draft. Making the world a better place.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

Anti-fraud resources: