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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: "FEDEX COURIER SERVICE" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 31 Dec 2011 15:40:09 -0800
Subject: Your £850,000 Funds Transfer Alert.

FedEx Courier Service!!!
Dear Esteem Customer,
A Bank Draft of £850,000 GBP was deposited at our Courier Department located at South London Uk few months ago. Your name and e-mail contact was attached to this Draft for us to contact you for delivery.
Due to security measure we can not disclose more information on your draft. Please get back to us for more details regarding this draft in our possession by clicking REPLY on your email and write back to us to confirm you are the owner of this E-mail Address.
Thank You.
Mr. Mike Thomson.
FedEx Courier Delivery & Security Programmed Officer.
Tel: +447031820506.

Anti-fraud resources: