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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: Meredith gibbson <>
Reply-To: Meredith gibbson <>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2014 14:56:20 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: DONATION,

 My Dear In The Lord,
Good day,
please I decide to write to you under a humanitarian ground. Please I am contacting you to let you know my desire to establish a charity foundation in your country with this sum of (US$3.5MD) which I inherited from my late husband since we don't have any child and It is my desire to see that this money is invested to any organization of your choice in your country with your name and distributed each year among the charity organizations, motherless baby's home etc. I will give you more details as i hear from you
Thanks yours
Mrs Meredith

Anti-fraud resources: