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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:

Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2014 20:00:50 +0000
Subject: Urgent Situation

Re: Urgent Situation.
I apologize and I beg you to accept my apology for inconvenience I cause to you. There is urgent situation that I want to find out if you can handle. Permit me to ask you a few questions.
Do you have account of any of these banks? Can you provide bank account of any of these banks? Have you controlled huge amount of money in the past? Can you control the sum of ¤
Quick response will be highly appreciated. AND FOR YOUR INFORMATION. I created this e-mail that I use now to write to you for temporary use. I do not check this e-mail all the time. Therefore, I want you to send your answer to this other e-mail
Once more. I apologize for the inconvenience that I cause to you and I expect your quick answer to
Yours faithfully,
Rufin Orou Nan NANSOUNONMinister of Maritime Economy& Port Infrastructure of BeninPhone: +229 61 30 02 48E-Mail:

Anti-fraud resources: