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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: "Atm Office Zenith Bank" <>
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2015 12:22:29 -0500
Subject: Your atm card us$12.5m is ready for collection


This is to officially inform you that we have verified your
contract/inheritance fund file and found out that you have not received
your fund us$12.5m.

You will receive it through ATM CARD, forward your name,address and direct
telephone number.

Mr.James Umu.
Atm Manager Zenith Bank.

The information contained in this email is intended to be sent only to
the stated recipient and may contain information that is CONFIDENTIAL,
privileged or otherwise protected from disclosure under applicable law.
If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient's agent, you
are notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of the
information is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. If you are not
the intended recipient, please contact the sender and delete all copies.

Anti-fraud resources: