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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: Deborah Brown <>
Date: Sun, 5 May 2013 20:51:01 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: attention daer your payment has already been sent today through
Western Union

My work partner has helped me to send the first $5000.00 to you through Western Union Money Transfer. Contact Mr. Moussa Williams, and ask him how much charge you need to remit to them before they can allow you pick up the first $5000. Contact: Mr. Moussa Williams Telephone: +229-9829-8743 Email: ( (MTCN)# 160-343-5576,for the first transfer he made to you, Ask him to give you the Sender's Full Name, to pick the $5000,Your total sum is $1.2MILLION. Send to him your, Full Name, State, City, Yours Sincerely. Deborah Brown

Anti-fraud resources: