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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: David Howell Petraeu <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 2013 05:22:44 +0000
Subject: I have a business proposal for you

I have a business proposal for you, I was the US Army Commander in Iraq for some years, during my days in Iraq i saw millions of dollars in one of the house we arrested a suicide bomber and i have kept the secret for years, now i will ask you if you can work with me to receive this money and we can invest it into your business.Please you must keep this as a secret for me because i will not want the US Government to know anything about this.

Army Gen. David Howell Petraeu.RTD
Former commander of Multi National Force are free to call me +1 940.603.8210

Anti-fraud resources: