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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 Viviane Patrick <>
Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2012 00:58:53 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: Dear Good Friend in Christ Jesus.

Dear Good Friend in Christ Jesus.

Greetings of peace to you, I am Mrs.Viviane M. Patrick a devoted Christian and now ageing widow suffering from long time illness. I have a blood cancer and right now I am admitted in a hospital here at Abidjan Cote D’ivoire. I have some inherited fund from my late loving husband late Mr Michel Patrick The amount of US$12.500, 000.00 which he deposited with Bank here and I need a good honest God fearing person who can use these funds for God's work in charity.

I want this fund to go for charity because I have no child to be the inheritor, 15% out of the total fund will be for your compensation for doing this work of God. I found your email address from the internet and decide to contact you. Please if you would be able to use this fund for the glory of God kindly reply me.And i waits to hear from you sonnest.

Your Sister In The Lord.
Mrs.Viviane M. Patrick

Anti-fraud resources: