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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: "Mr.James Kando," <>
Reply-To: "Mr.James Kando," <>
Date: Tue, 4 Nov 2014 15:55:18 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: =?UTF-8?Q?YOUR_WESTERN_UNION_PA=C2=ADYMENT_OF_$2.5Million?=


We have concluded to effect your payment of $2.5Million, through
western union, but the maximum amount you will be receiving each day
starting from tomorrow is $5000.00 daily until the funds is
completely transferred.

Kindly Contact Western union Agent:
Mr.James Kando
E-mail: (

Though, they will sent $5000.00 in your name today so contact
Mr.James Kando. or you call him as soon as you receive this email and
tell him to give you the Mtcn, sender name and question/answer to pick
the $5000.00 Pls let me know as soon as you received all your funds

Thank you.
Johnson Tony

Anti-fraud resources: