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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: "Mrs. Mary Judith" <>
Date: Fri, 17 Oct 2014 15:53:17 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: Communicate with the paying Bank For the $10.5M

We have finally arranged to transfer you inheritance / lottery Award Won worth
$10.500,000.00 usd, which you won for very long time ago We were able to do
that with the help of the united nation officer, and all necessary steps were
made successfully with the Zenith Bank Contact the Bank director MRS. ADAORA
UMEOJI with your bank account information and your home address, Identity card,
such as full name, no mobile: residential address. Call the Bank + 229-68993758
Email ( and be informed that they will Renew and Approve
your payment file to allow the money reflect into your Bank account.

You’re Excellency
Mrs. Mary Judith
Foreign payment director

Anti-fraud resources: