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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: Kwesi Mensah <>
Date: Tue, 31 May 2016 10:27:55 +1200
Subject: Hello

My dear,

How are you doing? I know that this will surely be a pleasant surprise
for you because you were not expecting it.

I have instructed my Lawyer Barr. Mike Robert to release $1,500,000.00
to you for your compensation for your assistant in the past which later
failed. Write him now through his Email: ( ) :for
his prompt attention.

Kwesi Mensah.

Anti-fraud resources: