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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: Marian Addoh <>
Date: Sat, 3 Mar 2012 14:49:45 -0800

Director, Project Implementation,
Federal Ministry of Health and Social Services,
Abuja Nigeria.
Strictly Confidential
Atte: Ceo/ Director.

Transfer Of $7.5M (Seven million five hundred thousand United States
May I crave your indulgence to this business discussion by a formal letter
of this sort, its is pertinent that business of this magnitude should have
commenced properly with a formal meeting of you and us to enable us know
ourselves, have a fore knowledge of the nature of the business, discuss and
acquaint our selves with the responsibilities and
functions of parties concerned, However, for the time factor and
personalities involve we have chosen this means of communication to start,I
am Mrs Marian Addoh the Director for Project Implementation for Federal
Ministry of Health and Social Services Abuja Nigeria.
Based on the approval of the above stated amount for contracts awarded to
an offshore company for the supply of health equipments in my ministry, we
intend to transfer this amount to an offshore account and we solicit your
assistance and cooperation on the assumption that you will not disappoint us
because as civil servant workers we are not allowed to operate an offshore
This amount arose as a result of over invoiced and over inflated
contracts in my ministry. We therefore seek your permission to remit this
amount into your account or any other nominated account you can provide for
us. Your commission will be 40% of the total sum, 10% for expenses and the
remaining 50% is for my colleagues and me.
Could you please acknowledge the receipt of this letter and state your
willingness to assist and give us your private telephone number and fax
number for easy contact. I shall in turn call you back once i have
your number.Your urgent reply
is needed.

Best Regards,
Mrs Marian Addoh
Director, Project Implementation,
Federal Ministry of Health and Social Services,
Abuja Nigeria

Anti-fraud resources: