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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: "International Monetary Fund" <>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 08:16:00 +0200
Subject: poverty alleviation programme


Due to the ongoing poverty alleviation programme organised by the
International Monetary Funds in conjunction with the United Nations to mark
a successful global financial end of the year 2014.

A certain amount has been mapped out for lucky individuals chosen from each
country of the world, You are lucky to have been chosen from your country
for a sum of One Million Five Hundred thousand United States Dollars

You are advised to contact us immediately for details as we will soon
commence with our end of the year financial reconciliation.

We await your response.

Bouma Amudi

Anti-fraud resources: