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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: "Mac Collins (Esq)" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Sat, 10 Oct 2015 04:32:48 -0400
Subject: I Wait Your Reply

Dear Friend,
I pray that this letter will find you in good health. I am Barrister Mac Collins, my aim of contacting you is to seek your assistance to evacuate some large sum of money from Europe to a trusted bank account in your country for investment. We have agreed to give you 30% of the total amount for your kind assistance. If you are willing to work with me please get back to me with your Full Name, Address and Phone Number. I will give you more detail of the money and the transfer process if I hear back from you.

Thank you
Mac Collins

Anti-fraud resources: