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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 Sam Williams <>
Reply-To: Mr Sam Williams <>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 06:05:53 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Contact Mr.Smith Benard williams Tel: (+229 68041889.

Dear customer,

Your $8.5m USD under our custody which your first payment of Us$5000 will
been transferred, you have to contact Mr.Smith Benard williams Hall the
Western Union manager and ask him to give you the details of the payment
once you reconfirmed him your details ASAP.

1Your First Name..........
2Your Second Name.........
3Your Country...........
4Your City..............
Home Address:Occupation:Cell PhoneCountry:Age:
Contact Mr.Smith Benard williams
Tel: (+229 68041889.

Thank you,
Mr Sam William

Anti-fraud resources: