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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. Lucia Coolman" <>
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2012 21:02:35 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: Donation From Mrs.Lucia Coolman

Donation From Mrs.Lucia Coolman ,

I am Mrs.Lucia Coolman,i have been diagnosed with Esophageal cancer .It has defied all forms of medical treatment, and Right now, I have only about a few months to live and I want you to Distribute my funds, the sum of Ten Million United states Dollars ( $10.000,000.00)to charities homes in your country. i have set aside 40% for you and your family so keep this as a secret to yourself because this will be my last wish.
Yours Truely
Mrs.Lucia Coolman

Anti-fraud resources: