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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: "Bernard-Hogan Howe" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2014 09:22:51 -0700
Subject: Settlement of Debt and Arrears owed to you.

Dear  Sir/Ma,
Subject: Settlement of Debt and Arrears owed to you.
We have the jurisdiction from the African Union (AU) and the United
Nations (UN) to protect, re-assess and refer you to our bank for the
payment of your debt as recorded in the All Africa Creditors Index.
You are required to confirm to this office; your knowledge on this
matter. After you have confirmed; we shall direct you to contact our
bank for the payment of $8,500,000.00 (Eight million, five hundred
thousand United States Dollars only) being debt and arrears owed to
In the absence of the intended recipient of this letter; any person(s)
with the Certified Claim Particulars can stand in as the beneficiary
of this fund and will be paid this money in full.
Your quick response will be essential in the process of transferring
this money to you in a short time.Reply me on my private e-mail;
Yours Sincerely
Bernard-Hogan Howe

Anti-fraud resources: