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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. Christine Lagarde." <>
Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2011 22:50:18 +0530 (IST)

Customers Service Hours--Monday to Saturday:
Office Hours Monday to Saturday:
Re: Beneficiary,
We have been waiting for you to contact me for your ATM VISA CARD worth $1,650,000.00 (One Million, Six Hundred and Fifty Thousand United States Dollars), being compensation fund for 150 scam victims, but I did not hear from you all this while And one Mrs Maria Dean claims she is your representative that we send the money to her.
Please I want to verify from you before we deliver your ATM VISA CARD to her, the issue of this compensation was approved after the meeting held behind closed doors between my humble self and the Director Federal Bureau of Investigation, United Nations Representative in West Africa and the Benin Government and their pesidency, so after this meeting the entire house concluded that all victims of scam will be compensated by the Benin Government as a means to sanitize them,  So all we need from you is to follow up our instruction to enable you receive your own  ATM VISA CARD before it expires.
Further information, all the documents partaining the compensation is intact with us including Insurance premium and Clearance Certificate Fee of the package showing that it is not Drug Money or meant to sponsor Terrorist attack in your Country. The only money you will send to us  is US$59.00 for our diplomatic handling charges,again don't be deceived by anybody to pay any other money except US$59.00.
So confirm the below information to enable our agent get to your home:
1. Full Names:
2. Residential Address:
3. Phone Number:
4. Occupation
5. Country:
6. Identification:
Please you are required to send the handling charges of US$59.00 through western union or money gram with this information.
Receiver Name_______ Mr Okechukwu Chibike
Country________Benin Republic
Text Question________How Long?
Sender's Name__________
I wait for your urgent payment today.
Best regards
Mr. Christine Lagarde.
Managing Director(I.M.F)Benin Republic

Anti-fraud resources: