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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: "Dean Williams" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2014 17:22:28 -0600
Subject: US$2,500,000.00 CERTIFIED BANK DRAFT

Hello Dear,
I have received the check from bank three days ago and kept the check with Mr. Robert Joseph as we discussed. Please mail him immediately to send the check to you.
I am in Madrid for tour, I kept the $2,500,000.00 (Two Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars) cashier check with Robert Joseph and will send you the rest of money after my business trip here. I send you so many mails but all prove abortive. So mail Robert Joseph with below email for him to send the check to you: {}. Thanks and do let me know when you receive your money and forward the below details along when making contact with him.
1. FULL NAME:___________________
2. ADDRESS:___________ __________
3. E-MAIL ADDRESS:______________
4. TELEPHONE NUMBER:_________________
5: OCCUPATION: _____________________
Hoping to hear from you.
Thanks and God bless you and your family.
Dean Williams

Anti-fraud resources: