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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: Stanley Wagama <>
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 22 May 2014 05:26:28 +0000
Subject: THANK YOU

Hello,I hope this will find you well. I am writing to seek your consent in assisting me receive $15.2M and we will discuss what we both stand to benefit. The amount in question belong to our late client whose has the same last name as yours. He passed away few years ago in a boat disaster. We have been trying to locate his possible relative for some time now. In view of this, I therefore seek your consent to present you as an inheritor to his funds. There are claim documents to enable you file in and claim the funds legitimately. If you are willing to be oriented as a beneficiary for more details on how to claim the funds, please reply.
Thank you,Stanley Wagama.

Anti-fraud resources: