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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:

Date: Sat, 22 Feb 2014 10:10:00 +0100 (GMT+01:00)
Subject: U.S. Department

U.S. Department    United States 
Embassy Seal         
Greeting from U.S Embassy,

Desk of U.S. Ambassador James F. Entwistle
Today, Saturday Being 22.02.2014
Abuja Nigeria.

Attention: Fund’s Beneficiary,
This is to inform you that your fund of {$7.7M USD} Seven Million Seven Hundred Thousand United States of America Dollars. was brought to my desk by the WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER NIGERIA DIRECTOR stated that I should signed the documents that back up the diversion of your fund to the Government Treasury Account reason because you were unable to pay the cost of the transfer, As result of the information, I told them to wait until i hear from you today and know the reason why you refused to comply with them by sending to them the required fee and start receiving your daily payment as it was signed and programmed.
Note: that the reason why I’m applying you with this email message is to inform you that you still have the chance to claim your fund if you could send the required fee $108.00 today or first thing tomorrow morning because i have already arranged the special courier company which will deliver your fund  to you within 2days with your tracking numbers to see when it will be coming to you, be informed that if you fail to comply again. They will have power over your fund and am very sorry if you failed as this is the last chance you have to receive your Funds.
Please here is the Western Union or Money Gram information in the name of my messenger to avoid delay in receiving your fund and remember that I have done my best for you and I will make sure that your fund get to your hand as I have promise and assured you if you comply and build your trust on me.  Do forward the payment information as soon as you are done with the payment.

Receiver Name: Mr. Bob Collins
Payout Destination: Lagos / Nigeria
Text Question: Very
Text Answer: Good
Amount: $108.00 USD.

I shall await your urgent response once you are done with the payment today.
Sign and Approved.

U.S. Ambassador James F. Entwistle.
United States Ambassador to {Nigeria}
Tel:-{+234 706-120-7957}

Anti-fraud resources: