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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: "Mrs. Tina Mba" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 23 Dec 2011 05:32:03 -0500
Subject: Merry Xmas In Advance.

This is to inform all beneficiaries both inheritance and contracts that the new President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has mandated the New Presidential Cashier, Hon. Osondu Ifeanyi to release all payments (unconditionally) without charges.
The Federal Government of Nigeria has mapped out a total sum of $28.6 Billion to offset all debt owed to foreigners by the government of Nigeria. The payment will be wired to all beneficiaries on “first come, first serve” basis.
Note that you are not required to pay any fee(s) to have your funds released. Therefore, contact the Presidential Cashier urgently for the claim of your funds. Below are his contact details for immediate communication:
Name:…Hon. Osondu Ifeanyi
Private Email:…
The Government is embarking on this kind gesture to redeem the image of this great country which has been messed up by corrupt officials and fraudsters. Please discontinue your communication with any other office that might jeopardize your funds release.
Congratulations in advance.
Yours faithfully,
Mrs. Tina Mba

Anti-fraud resources: