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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: Michael Sebastian <>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2014 06:08:11 +0000 (UTC)

I Am Mr Michael Sebastian, the Director of ECOWAS International Settlement Department Here In Benin Republic. Your Name, E-mail Address And Your Payment File Has Been Shifted To Banque Internationale Du Benin After The ECOWAS General Consensus Meeting Held With The Respective Office In charged To Your Pending Payment.
The ECOWAS Counsel Of Ministers Has Issued A Check Of $1,000,000.00 In Your Name And Have Confirmed You As The Beneficiary To The Said Fund.Therefore, You Are Hereby Instructing To Stop Further Communication With Any Office Until You Received Your Fund.
For Your Payment, Please Contact The Bank With Below Information:
           BANQUE INTERNATIONALE DU BENIN           Phone +22961729878           Email:           Contact Person: Mr David A. Guruaston / Managing Director
I Advice You To Contact The Bank Now With Your Information For your Payment.
Mr Michael SebastianDirector Of International Settlement Dpt.ECOWAS Branch-Benin Rep.

Anti-fraud resources: