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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: Compensation from Economic Community of West African
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 4 Jul 2014 20:22:52 -0700

Attn: Sir/Madam,

>From Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) conjunction with Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the European Union (EU), have verified your Unclaims funds and found out why you have not received your payment is because you have not fulfilled the obligation given to you in respect of your Unclaims payment.

We have offer you a compensation of Six Hundred and fifty Thousand United State Dollars, contact Mr. Kelvin James to receive your fund by sending him your full name and your home contact address, Telephone number below:

Name: Mr. Kelvin James
Office Phone: +4470359 85962
Office Email:

Thanks for your Co-operation

Mrs. Tina Graig
(Accountant General)

Anti-fraud resources: