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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:

Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2011 14:35:50 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: FROM CITY BANK BENIN DATE23/07/2011

Attn,This is to notify you we the City bank Benin has receive your inheritance fund from Africa and we are here to let you know that we have receive your $16.5 million united state dollars now we want you to send us all your account information where you want the fund to transference without any delay and your personal phone number for easy communication
now we want you to contact us within 48 hours for immediate transfer of your fund to your nominated account in your country without any delay
please contact us through this email address (
 we wait for your urgent response immediately
Mr Adam Winta

Anti-fraud resources: