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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. BEN BERNANKE" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 24 Dec 2011 10:22:34 -0000
Subject: GOOD NEWS

ATTN: Esteemed Beneficiary, This is officially to notify you that We have received a payment credit instruction from the World Bank Swiss to credit your account with your full Inheritance fund of US$4.5Million from the Nigerian reserve account With our Bank because the are having problem with International Monetary Fund (IMF). We the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has taken up the mantle to advocate on your interest for the release of your fund over delayed payment. PLEASE READ THE MESSAGE ATTACHED FOR FULL DETAILS Yours faithfully, MR. BEN BERNANKE Chairman of Federal Reserve Bank of New York 33 Liberty St New York NY 10045-0001.

Anti-fraud resources: