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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: "EFCC FRAUD MONITORING UNIT" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2011 13:05:43 -0700


After proper and several investigations and research at Western Union and
Money Gram Office, we found your name in Western Union database amongst
those that have sent money through Western Union to Nigeria and this
proves that you have truly been swindled by those unscrupulous persons by
sending money to them through Western Union/Money Gram in the course of
getting one fund or the other that is not real, right now we are working
hand in hand with Western Union to track every fraudsters down, do not
respond to their e-mails, letters and phone calls any longer as they are
scammers and you should be very careful to avoid being a victim to
fraudsters any longer because they have nothing to offer you but to
rip-off what you have worked earnestly hard to earn.

In this regard a meeting was held between the Board of Directors of The
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alongside with the
Ministry of Finance - Nigeria and as a consequence of our investigations
it was agreed that the sum of one hundred and twenty thousand US Dollars (US$120,000.00)
should be transferred to you out of the funds that Federal Government of
Nigeria has set aside as a compensation to everyone who have by one way or
the other sent money to fraudsters in Nigeria.

***Please note that we will no longer be liable for any loss, cost or
expense whatsoever, suffered or incurred by You in connection with the

Be warned!
We have deposited your fund at Western Union Money Transfer agent location
EMS Post office Lagos, Nigeria.

We have submitted your details to them so that your fund can be
transferred to you. We have paid the Registration and Transfer fees and
for security reasons we have also insured your fund to avoid

Contact the Western Union agent office through any of the email addresses
stated below;

Contact Person: Charles Mark
Contact Email :
Contact Phone : +234-709-447-7929

Yours sincerely,
James Dobson,
Investigation Officer.

Please note that e-mails, letters and phone calls are currently been made
to unsuspecting persons by fraudsters claiming to have access to their
funds. Everyday, people throughout the world are falling victim to scams
of one way or the other. It could be an unexpected prize draw or lottery
win, or a chance to invest in an exciting new money-making or investment
programme . In the circumstance, we unreservedly advice you to dissociate
yourself from all correspondence and transactions entered into based on
evidently fraudulent and fictitious claims.

Anti-fraud resources: