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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: "Chrn" <>
Date: Fri, 06 Nov 2015 17:06:02 -0500
Subject: Goodwill gesture

I am a widow of 74 years old recently diagnosed with Moderately Severe Dementia. I inherited the sum of Eight Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars from my late husband. I need a humane and honest person that will utilise the fund for humanitarian services in order to accomplish the wishes of my late husband.

If you have the right credentials and zeal to accomplish this Herculean task, write back with your current details to my Private email: for further instructions.


Anti-fraud resources: