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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: "FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION" <info@brunner-guitars.com>
Reply-To: fbi-investigation11@hotmail.com
Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2011 17:04:07 -0700
Subject: FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION

 
ANTI-TERRORIST AND MONETARY CRIMES DIVISION
FBI HEADQUARTERS IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
J. EDGAR HOOVER BUILDING
935 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE, NW WASHINGTON, D.C. 20535-0001
Attn: Beneficiary,
 
This is an official advice from the Federal Bureau of Investigation; it has come to our notice that an Afflict Bank in African has transfer the sum of 10,500,000.00 U.S Dollar to Bank of America in your name which BOA are to credit to your personal account.
 
We have decided to contact you directly to acquire the proper verifications and proof from you to show that you are the rightful person to receive this fund. We want to make sure its a clean and legal money you are about to receive before we can instruct the Bank to credit your account.So
you are advice to forward us the "Diplomatic Immunity Seal Of Transfer" (DIST) if you have it in your position to satisfy that the money your about to receive is legal and legitimate.
 
If you donít have these documents as required, let us know so that we can direct you on whom you are to communicate to obtain the document and send to us so that we clarify them and ask the bank holding the funds to go ahead increditing your funds to your account immediately.
This condition is valid until 15 day. after we shall take action on canceling the payment and then charge you for illegally moving funds out of Africa.
Sign
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
Director Washington D.C
MR.ROBERT MUELLER

Anti-fraud resources: