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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: "Dr. Thomas Zimmerman" <>
Date: Fri, 14 Aug 2015 12:24:35 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: Notification

The European Payments Council has approved in your name with the amount of $1,500,000.00 dollars. Your winning payment has been credited into ATM Card by the issuing Bank for delivery to your address. For more information and
clarification; contact the european zonal coordinator on his email address
with your details for your ATM Card delivery. Zonal Coordinator: Mr. Martin Amurda. E-mail: ( ) Telephone: +229-99 646 783.

Yours Sincerely,
Dr. Thomas Zimmerman. (Secretariat European Payments Council)

Anti-fraud resources: