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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: "Dato Mohammed" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2011 05:59:16 -0500
Subject: Compliments of the season to you...!

Dear Sir/Madam,

Compliments of the season to you. I will try to be brief. My late client died leaving behind a large sum of money to the tune of Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars.

I contacted you because you have the same family name as my Late client. With your help we can claim the above mentioned Fund in the bank or the it will be confiscated if i cannot get a hold of anyone Related to the deceased.

Should my proposal offend you or contradict your moral ethics, I apologize. Should you be interested and wish to help, do Reply to me and we can discuss further our plan of action, kindly get back to me.

Best Regards,
Dato Mohammed

Anti-fraud resources: