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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: "Dr.Thomas Burke" <>
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2014 22:22:31 +0100 (CET)
Subject: Notice

There is an issue with the European Payments Council in the
amount of $1,500,000.00 dollars credited to your email address. Your
winning bank draft has been loaded into ATM card by the issuing
bank for delivery to your home address. For more information and
clarification; Contact our zonal coordinator with your details for
delivery via email: (
Mr. Martin A. Tel: +229-96251986

Anti-fraud resources: