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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.Tony Ntchato" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2014 17:48:26 +0100
Subject: HELLO

I am Mr.Tony Ntchato of South African Reserve Bank, Cape-Town Branch
in South Africa. I will be happy to work this deal
out with you if you have a corporate or personal Bank Account and if
you are capable to keep this deal TOP SECRET.
I need strong assurance that you will never let me down, if I
transfer this money to your account. Tell me more about yourself,
while I look forward
to hearing from you, I want to assure you that this business is risk
free and you can send an empty account to receive the funds,
provided that the account is capable to receive incoming funds.
Thank you for your time and attention.
Warmest regards,

Anti-fraud resources: