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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. James L. Williams" <>
Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2012 12:19:39 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Transfer payment information and MTCN.


I have contacted you because I have sent you the first transfer of $5000
from your winning funds total amount of $1.5Million USD. Therefore you
need to contact Western Union agent Mr. John Michael, to give you the
transfer payment information and Western Union MTCN immediately you call
or email him.

Western Union Agent: Mr. John Michael,
Office#: +229 98644349

Please try to contact him immediately for him to furnish you with the WU
MTCN information to you and remember to indicate the registration Code
Number: EB-2237 to him, when contacting or calling him, He will be sending
you $5000. 00 daily as per our board meeting discussion with him.

Do get in touch with me once you have gotten the transfer completely thank

Mr. James L. Williams
IMF Managing Director

Anti-fraud resources: