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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. Peter Campbell" <>
Date: Sun, 23 Oct 2011 02:46:24 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: Dear Sir/ Madam,

Dear Sir/ Madam,
There is an issue with the WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER in the amount of $2,500,000.00 (two million five hundred thousand US Dollars). The sum was directed in cash and credited to file WMT/9023118307-09 to the owner of this e-mail address.
The International Monetary Fund contacted us for your compensation a couple of hours ago due to your allocated security code. They said that they chose to send it to an e-mail address instead of a name. We are unable to complete a transfer directed at an e-mail address, so we require some more information to verify it with what we have on file in order to complete this transfer and make sure we are not paying the wrong beneficiary.
In order to resolve this problem, please e-mail via Western Union Solicitors Fund Verification Department Unit:(

Immediately we receive the above information, a part payment of $5,000.00 on daily basis(Five Thousand US Dollars) will be wired to you within 4hours via Western Union and the balance of the $2,495,000.00 (two million four hundred and ninety five thousand US Dollars) will be sent to you but not at once rather $5000.00 daily until you recieve the total funds.
Please use reference number #135-086 for our mutual convenience. For more clarification, call us on the telephone number below.

Mr. Peter Campbell
Administrative Department,
Western Union Payments.
Direct Line: +229-9879-0663

Anti-fraud resources: